Barbados Ratifies Convention Eliminating Workplace Violence & Harassment

Minister of Labour, Colin Jordan (right), speaking to labour law specialists at the ILO, Professor Arellano Ortiz and Valerie Van Goethem, after the opening session of of the workshop on Access to Labour Justice: Evaluation and Strengthening of the Employment Rights Tribunal, yesterday. (C. Pitt/BGIS)

Barbados has ratified the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019, also known as C190.

Minister of Labour, Social Security and Third Sector, Colin Jordan, announced this on Monday, as he addressed the opening session of a workshop for the strengthening of the Employment Rights Tribunal (ERT), held at the Warrens Office Complex, Warrens, St. Michael.

Minister Jordan noted that the country lodged its instrument of ratification of the most recent ILO Convention, on September 1, 2022, and expressed his pleasure at having accomplished this goal.

He told participants that “as a progressive country”, Barbados took a lead role in developing the Convention during the Centenary International Labour Conference in 2018.

“Many hours, much negotiation, and a successful outcome,” he said, while also recounting his role in the effort. “I had the privilege of indicating to the ILO member states, in the plenary session, that the Convention was necessary, that it was reasonable, and therefore it was capable of being ratified,” the Labour Minister said.

Barbados is now the second Caribbean country to ratify the Convention, which addresses the elimination of violence and harassment in the workplace, with particular focus on gender-based violence and harassment. Antigua and Barbuda ratified it in May of this year.

Minister Jordan gave the commitment that Barbados would assist other countries in doing likewise.  “We will be doing all that we can to encourage other countries within the Caribbean region but also the ILO region, which is referred to as the Group of Latin America and the Caribbean Countries, … to ratify this Convention,” he stated.

While thanking the ILO for continued excellent relations with Barbados, the Labour Minister stressed that the island was happy to receive the ILO delegation assisting with the workshop, which is seeking to improve the effectiveness of the ERT; strengthen labour dispute prevention and resolution, and improve access to labour justice.

“We look forward to a productive engagement this week and beyond. Our workers are depending on us to provide improved access to justice. We are determined to ensure that this becomes a reality and we are confident that the ILO will be an excellent partner in this regard,” Mr. Jordan said.