Violence and harassment

ILO welcomes commitments to ratify Convention on violence and harassment

Argentina, Finland, Spain and Uruguay have all formally committed to ratify the ILO’s Convention that provides an international framework to end violence and harassment in the world of work.

News | 03 March 2020
Argentinian Parliament
GENEVA (ILO News) – The ILO has welcomed commitments made by Argentina, Finland, Spain and Uruguay to ratify the Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019 (No. 190). All have signalled their intention to seek approval from their respective legislative assemblies.

Spain announced its commitment at a meeting on 2 March between ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder and the country’s Minister of Labour and Social Economy, Yolanda Diaz.

Once approved, countries will need to deposit the instrument of ratification with the ILO headquarters in Geneva. These would be the first since government, union and employer representatives adopted Convention 190 and ILO Recommendation 206 at the International Labour Conference, in June 2019. These international labour standards recognize the right of everyone to a world of work free from violence and harassment, including gender based violence and harassment.

“We welcome the commitment made by these governments to ratify Convention 190,” said Manuela Tomei, Director of ILO’s Conditions of Work and Equality Department. “The Convention provides the possibility of forging a future of work based on dignity and respect, free from violence and harassment. We urge all governments to ratify.”

The Convention defines violence and harassment as “a range of unacceptable behaviours and practices” that “aim at, result in, or are likely to result in physical, psychological, sexual or economic harm”. It covers everyone who works, including interns or apprentices and persons who exercise the duties or authority of an employer, and applies to the public and private sectors, the formal and informal economy, as well as urban and rural areas.

The Convention will enter into force 12 months after two member States have ratified it. The Recommendation, which is not legally binding, provides guidance on how the Convention should be applied. 

In the lead up to International Women’s Day on 8 March, we’ll be focusing on issues affecting women in the world of work. Look out for our blogs, features and articles.