PST members call on the German government to ratify ILO Convention 190

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08.03.2022

PST members call on the German government to ratify ILO Convention 190

Violence and Harassment Convention

On International Women's Day, 33 members wrote a letter to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Svenja Schulze, and the Federal Minister of Labour, Hubertus Heil. In the letter, they call on the German government to quickly ratify Convention 190 of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to end violence and harassment in the world of work. The convention specifically highlights gender-based violence and harassment and formulates concrete requirements for companies.

"ILO Convention 190 is a historic milestone. These are perhaps the most far-reaching regulations on labour standards ever adopted by the ILO. The convention provides the first international definition of violence and harassment in the world of work. And especially important for women: it explicitly includes gender-based violence and harassment," says Christina Stockfisch (DGB), who was involved in the negotiations of the agreement.

So far, only ten countries have ratified the convention. When Greece and Italy signed the convention, the process began to move at the European level. In the coalition agreement, the German government announces that it will ratify the agreement.

In their letter, the Textiles Partnership members point out that an estimated 500 million women of working age live in countries without legal protection against violence and harassment in the workplace. In textile production, women make up an estimated 70 percent of the 60 million employees. They are often exposed to gender-based violence, harassed and discriminated. The corona pandemic has further exacerbated the situation. It is therefore even more important that the German Federal Government uses its strong position in the EU to promote the convention. With the signing, Germany could send a signal to partner and production countries to take decisive action against gender-based violence in the world of work.

The Partnership for Sustainable Textiles is committed to a social, ecological and corruption-free textile and clothing industry. By joining the Textiles Partnership, all members are committed to zero tolerance for gender-based violence and harassment – within their own organisation and with the contractual partners in the supply chain. Together, the approximately 130 members from the private sector, politics and civil society are committed to a working world free of violence and harassment, which is based on the principles of dignity, respect and equality. But that alone is not enough. "All actors, including the German Federal Government, must fulfil their responsibilities. Only sufficient legal framework conditions can break down structural barriers. An effective international agreement to end violence and harassment in the world of work is an important step in this direction,"the Partnership members write.

These 33 Partnership members have signed the letter to the German Federal Development Minister and the German Federal Minister of Labour: 3FREUNDE, ALDI Nord, ALDI Süd, Bierbaum-Proenen, Blutsgeschwister, Brands Fashion, Bundesverband der Deutschen Sportartikel-Industrie e.V. (BSI), CARE, Cotton made in Africa/Aid by Trade Foundation, Deltex, German Trade Union Confederation (DGB), erlich textil, Ethical Made, FaRev, FEMNET, Frauenwerk der Nordkirche, Global Nature Fund, GOTS, Greiff, HEJ Support, Hugo Boss, IG Metall, INKOTA, Institute of Development Research and Development Policy of the Ruhr University Bochum (IEE), International Association of Natural Textiles (IVN), Ivy & Oak, LIDL, Mantis World, SÜDWIND, Sympatex, Tchibo, VAUDE, VerbraucherService im KDFB e.V.