Co-op Declaration Guarantees Decent Working Environment, Zero Tolerance Toward Harassment


The ICA is one of the first international organizations to declare that a decent working environment is “fundamental” and there is “no room for harassment” at cooperative businesses. [photo: ICA]
The international cooperative movement has pledge to promote a decent working environment and zero tolerance of any form of harassment. The fact that a global actor like the International Co-operative 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 on October 21 at the international organization’s General Assembly in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The text emphasizes that the cooperative movement endorses the International Labour Organization’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 organizations 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 organizations,” ICA President Ariel Guarco said.

In the declaration, the International Co-operative Alliance 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 pledges zero tolerance towards any kind of 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 aAction”) and the ILO, the International Co-operative Alliance guarantees full compliance with the strict ethical and professional standards expected to preserve reliable collaborations and trust in the international development area.

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