The time has come to ratify C190

Adopted two years ago at the International Labour Conference, ILO Convention 190, is the first international treaty to address violence and harassment in the world of work. Last week, on 25 June 2021, it entered into force, marking a historic opportunity for member States to shape a future of work based on dignity and respect for all.

News | 29 June 2021
by Vera Guseva, ILO Caribbean Specialist, Workers’ Activities

Violence and harassment at work takes a range of forms and leads to physical, psychological, sexual and economic harm. Convention No. 190 (C190), together with Recommendation No. 206 (R206), recognizes the right of everyone to a world of work free from violence and harassment, and sets forth a common framework for action. It provides the first internationally accepted definition of violence and harassment in the world of work, including gender-based violence and harassment.

These two international labour standards require governments in consultation with representative organizations of employers and workers to adopt an inclusive, integrated and gender-responsive approach to the prevention and elimination of violence and harassment in the world of work.

Why ratify now?

  • The risk of violence and harassment is even higher during times of crisis, such as the COVID-19 outbreak we are facing now. In the context of the pandemic, it is particularly important that C190 applies to all workers wherever the workplace is, including public and private spaces that became a workplace for more workers than ever.
  • Before the COVID-19 crisis, it was estimated that one in three women globally experience physical or sexual abuse in their lifetime. Since the pandemic, violence against women and girls has grown. Acknowledging that gender-based violence and harassment disproportionately affects women and girls, C190 and R206 emphasize the need to adopt an integrated and gender-responsive approach, thus contributing to building an equal society.
  • Violence and harassment impacts people’s health, dignity, and wellbeing. It also results in large costs for enterprises and puts a strain on public services that have already suffered due to pandemic.
To date, Argentina, Ecuador, Fiji, Namibia, Somalia and Uruguay have ratified C190. The implementation of C190 and R206 really can make a difference in workers’ daily lives. Join the ILO’s global campaign for ratification of the Violence and Harassment Convention to make the world of work free of violence and harassment a reality.