The Violence and Harassment Convention No. 190 (2019) was ratified by 35 countries so far – Uruguay, Fiji, Namibia, Argentina, Somalia, Ecuador, Mauritius, Greece. Italy, South Africa, UK, San Marino, Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Spain, El Salvador, Peru, Central African Republic, Mexico, Barbados, Panama, Nigeria, Bahamas, Ireland. Canada, Lesotho, France, Germany, Chile, Belgium, Australia, Uganda, Papua New Guinea, Norway, North Macedonia.
The Philippines is going through the process of ratification.
– NTUC Phl announcement
The Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019, and Violence and Harassment Recommendation, 2019, were adopted by delegates on the final day of the Centenary International Labour Conference, in Geneva. For the Convention, 439 votes were cast in favour, seven against, with 30 abstentions. The Recommendation was passed with 397 votes in favour, 12 votes against and 44 abstentions.
The new international labour standard aims to protect workers and employees, irrespective of their contractual status, and includes persons in training, interns and apprentices, workers whose employment has been terminated, volunteers, job seekers and job applicants. It recognizes that “individuals exercising the authority, duties or responsibilities of an employer” can also be subjected to violence and harassment.
“The new standards recognize the right of everyone to a world of work free from violence and harassment,” said Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General.
The standard covers violence and harassment occurring in the workplace; places where a worker is paid, takes a rest or meal break, or uses sanitary, washing or changing facilities; during work-related trips, travel, training, events or social activities; work-related communications (including through information and communication technologies), in employer-provided accommodation; and when commuting to and from work. It also recognizes that violence and harassment may involve third parties.
The Convention will enter into force 12 months after two member States have ratified it. The Recommendation, which is not legally binding, provides guidelines on how the Convention could be applied.
This is the first new Convention agreed by the International Labour Conference since 2011, when the Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 (No. 189) was adopted. Conventions are legally binding international instruments, while Recommendations provide advice and guidance.