The cooperative movement has approved a formal commitment towards the promotion of a decent working environment and zero tolerance for any form of harassment. The fact that a global actor like the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) commits itself against harassment is a milestone for the international community. The Declaration on Decent Work and Against Harassment was approved unanimously by the members of the ICA in the context of the last General Assembly held on 21 October in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The text emphasises that the cooperative movement endorses the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Promotion of Cooperatives Recommendation (2002) and the United Nations (UN) Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development (2015) and recalls that the commitments included in the declaration align with the cooperative values and principles stated in the Statement of the Cooperative Identity.
“We are one of the first international organisations saying formally and strongly that a decent working environment is fundamental in our society and that there is no room for any form of harassment in our organisations”, says the President of the ICA, Ariel Guarco.
In the declaration, the ICA commits itself to “respect, promote and act diligently to support the fundamental tenets of decent work, namely:
- freedom of association and full recognition of the right to collective bargaining;
- the elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour;
- an end to child labour, and
- the elimination of discrimination in employment and every form of work”.
In addition, the ICA ensures zero tolerance towards any kind of sexual and moral harassment and violence in the workplace or misconduct, including intimidation, oppression, and discrimination, as well as any abuse of power.
Valuing its partnerships with international institutions, such as the European Commission (through the ICA – EU Partnership Agreement “Cooperatives in Development - People centered businesses in action”) and the ILO, the ICA guarantees full compliance with the strict ethical and professional standards expected to preserve reliable collaborations and trust in the international development area.