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Ending harassment in the world of work – at last a priority

On 11 December 2023, at the invitation of State Counsellor Victoria Stoiciu, a meeting was held at the Government with representatives of civil society, trade unions, employers and representatives of the relevant ministries regarding Romania’s ratification to the ILO Convention no. 190 on the Elimination of Harassment and Violence at in the World of Work.

The meeting was also attended by representatives from the National Anti-Discrimination Council and the Economic and Social Council. Representatives from the Ministry of Labour; the Ministry of Family, Youth and Equal Opportunities; the Ministry of Justice; the Ministry of Interior; and the Ministry of Development and Public Administration were also present.

The discussion was constructive and focused on the process of harmonizing the legal framework and public policies with the standards of the ILO Convention, based on the recommendations that A.L.E.G. sent to the Government on behalf of more than 40 partner organizations in the “Employers for Respect” campaign.

A.L.E.G. representatives, Georgiana Epure and Camelia Proca, stressed the need for this process to be inclusive (to include all workers), integrated (to cover not only the legal definitions of harassment, the law on health and safety at work and the labour inspectorate, but also specialised training for representatives of the authorities with competence on the subject, a better data collection policy and better information for workers on their rights), and gender-sensitive (including the introduction of paid leave for victims of domestic violence).

“It is encouraging that as the draft law for Romania’s accession to the ILO Convention moves forward in Parliament, the Government is consulting with all relevant stakeholders to transpose the provisions of the Convention into the legal and public policy framework. It is important that the process of aligning with the standards of the Convention continues to be transparent and inclusive in 2024”, said Georgiana Epure, President of A.L.E.G..

In 2021, A.L.E.G. initiated the “Employers for Respect” campaign for the ratification of the ILO Convention No. 190 on the Elimination of Harassment and Violence in the World of Work. The gaps in the legal framework on harassment in the world of work and the weak implementation of the law are documented in this policy brief published by A.L.E.G. in 2021 and in the thematic policy brief on harassment of migrant workers published by A.L.E.G. in 2023.