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Colombia fighting to eradicate workplace violence and harassment

news 07 Mar 2024

  Statistics indicate that 76% of women workers in Colombia have been victims of violence or harassment in the workplace. Legislation is now set to be introduced that will mean any type of violence against women can be punished by law.  

The proposed legislation will ratify Convention 190 of the International Labour Organization (ILO), which seeks to eradicate violence and harassment in the workplace, as well as introducing a bill against violence by unruly passengers in civil aviation.  

  The proposed ratification of C190 comes at an important time with the bill against violence in civil aviation being proposed. Thanks to the efforts of ITF affiliates the Sindicato de los Trabajadores del Transporte Aereo Colombiano, Servicios, Logistica y Conexos (SINTRATAC) and the Asociacion Colombiana de Auxiliares de Vuelo y Demas Trabajadores de la Industria del Sector Aereo Colombiano (ACAV) along with the support of the ITF, Colombian representatives Mafe Carrascal, Jennifer Pedraza, airlines and government agencies came together to push the bill forward.  

  SINTRATAC-ACAV conducted a survey of workers in different airlines, which showed that more than 90 percent of employees had experienced incidents with unruly passengers, and in many of the cases, the violence was directed towards women workers through discriminatory, racist and sexist language.  

Cristina Cadavid, President of ACAV and one of the leaders of the campaign against violence in civil aviation, said: "In our country, many working women are completely vulnerable to violence and gender-based discrimination. These bills are necessary to grant new regulation to combat the violations that we have exposed. It shows that our country wants real change; change in which all women feel safe and respected in our workplaces. From SINTRATAC-ACAV we are committed to human and labour rights, and we won’t stop fighting until we see this proposal become law and achieve the ratification of C190."  

With the ratification of C190, Colombia would join 38 countries worldwide - including Argentina, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico, Panama, Peru and Uruguay - which have already ratified it.