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International law on violence: ITF pushes work forward

news 26 Jun 2018

The ITF had a delegation at the ILC that included women from Kenya, Peru and Canada, and was led by Jodi Evans and Claire Clarke from the ITF women’s department. 

The team worked closely with transport union representatives from their national delegations and played a central role within the workers group before and during this historic committee.

This included providing strategic arguments and examples for the workers’ group spokesperson, and lobbying government and employer representatives to win key language for transport workers, and in particular women workers. 

The ITF delegation included Lisa Kelly, director of Unifor women’s department: “The ITF was of notable value to the workers' group. We achieved several areas of inclusive language during this demanding negotiation as a direct result of the growing international collaboration to end violence against women transport workers. This is work that has been led by the ITF.”

Key outcomes include:

  • Agreement that the instrument will take the form of a convention and recommendation, which will provide the strongest opportunity for workers and their unions. 
  • The scope will include employer provided accommodation, journeys to and from work, domestic violence that impacts on work, and highlight the significance of gender-based violence and intersecting risk factors, including migrant status. 

There is still work to be done around the definitions of the convention and recommendation before they are adopted by the ILC at the end of a two-year process.

“In 2013, the ITF women’s committee decided to prioritise developing a coordinated international programme for the prevention and elimination of violence that is so widespread in our industry,” commented Ekaterina Yordanova, ITF women’s vice-president, member of Bulgaria’s national delegation to the ILC and member of the workers’ bureau.

“We received strong support at all levels of the ITF. The recent ETF ‘Safe at Home, Safe at Work’ survey on violence and harassment against women in the transport sector, and the Unifor women’s advocacy programme, paved the way to our first successes as a federation.” 

To share your experiences of violence at work, and to get involved in the campaign to win this history-making international law, please email

Documents from the ILC standard setting committee are available here

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