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Group seeks ratification of ILO convention 190 to end workplace violence

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The Nigerian Chapter of the International Lawyers Assisting Workers Network (ILAW) yesterday charged the Federal Government to ratify the International Labour Organisation (ILO’s) Convention 190, which seeks to eliminate violence and harassment in the workplace.

It stressed that the call became necessary as the world marked the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict on Friday, June 19, 2020.

In a statement issued by an Ibadan-based labour activist and human rights lawyer, Femi Aborisade on behalf of ILAW (Nigeria), he said the country would make history if it ratified the convention.

Aborisade stressed that an adopted ILO Convention came into force 12 months after ratification by two member states, adding, “Convention 190 was adopted in June 2019. In January this year, Uruguay became the first country to ratify it and as at today, it remains the only country that had ratified that convention.

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“Ratification by Nigeria would make it the second country and it would enable the Convention to come into force twelve months after.

“Is Nigeria ready to make history and be counted among ILO member states that set the pace for establishing a framework for human progress and scoring victory for humanity on an international basis?

“This is the critical historical challenge that ratification or non-ratification of Convention 190 poses to the Federal Government.”

It would be recalled that the ILO C190 was adopted by member states at the centenary of the International Labour Conference held last year in Geneva, Switzerland.

“In the context of the combined provisions of Article 19(5) of the ILO Constitution and Section 254C(2) of the Constitution of Nigeria, ratification of an ILO Convention is an executive function, which excludes the prescribed legislative role of the National Assembly under Section 12(1) of the 1999 Constitution.

“By Article 19(5) of the ILO Constitution, an adopted convention will be brought before the authorities within whose competence the matter lies for the enactment of legislation or other action.

“In other words, depending on the legal framework in individual countries, ratification may involve domestic legislation or, alternatively, “other action” by the executive arm of government,” he stated.

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