Arnaldo Forty Montero Colque is Project Director at the NGO CEPRODE (Center for the Promotion of Democracy, Dialogue and Development) in Bolivia. He lives in La Paz, and is part of the IFWEA study circle on C190. Here he talks about his experiences so far:
How long have you been in the IFWEA C190 study circle?
This is my third year.
Why did you decide to be part of this study circle?
I joined because the Network of Women Workers and Trade Unionists of Bolivia, with whom the study circle works, promoted a proposal against labour harassment and the possibility of contributing to the process of seeking the ratification of ILO C190.
Who is in your study circle?
Originally, only the Network of Women Workers and Trade Unionists of Bolivia, but other NGOs and foundations have subsequently joined.
What are your study circle’s plans for this year (2022)?
Four webinars and a face-to-face meeting of women workers at the national level are planned, with the aim of promoting actions to achieve the ratification of C190 in Bolivia.
What is the current situation of Bolivian leaders regarding the ratification of C190?
The COB (Central Obrera Boliviana), the chief trade union federation in Bolivia, requested the Central Government, in one of its last National Resolutions, for the immediate ratification of ILO C190.
How do you feel seeing that more countries around the world are ratifying C190?
It is very helpful to know that other countries have succeeded in getting their governments’ attention and subsequent ratification of C190. This means that it can be achieved and that it is in the national interest, and not only in the interest of the working sector, to do so.
How do you feel about the study circle methodology?
It is a different methodology and the most innovative thing has been the provision of a virtual space through the IFWEA OLA platform, so that the members of the circle in different countries can meet. This transcends borders, for example in Latin America we meet between Peru, Venezuela and Bolivia.
How does the study circle fit in with what CEPRODE does? Are there challenges?
CEPRODE’s goal is to promote democracy, social dialogue and the development of communities and underprivileged populations, which is why the advocacy process for the ratification of C190 is a high-impact challenge, as it will benefit all Bolivian workers.
Would you apply this study circle method to other projects in your organisation?
Of course! In fact we have already done so, developing spaces for training and reflection through the OLA platform. A study circle allows for greater interrelation, reflection and debate, so replicating the process in other contexts will be very important for CEPRODE.
Could you share any highlights of your study circle so far?
One highlight is the fact of having secured the support of several national trade union organisations, since at the beginning, they were not very clear about it, as the Ministry of Labor did not see it convenient or necessary to ratify the Convention, arguing that they had ministerial resolutions on the matter. The fact that it was the COB (Central Obrera Boliviana) that demanded ratification from the government is an achievement.