Italy ratifies the ILO Convention (No. 190) on the elimination of violence and harassment in the world of work

Italy has ratified the ILO Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019 (No. 190), becoming the ninth country in the world and the second European country that ratified this Convention.

Press release | 29 October 2021
Andrea Orlando, Minister of Labour and Social Policies, and Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General
GENEVA (ILO News) – On 29 October 2021, Italy deposited the instrument of ratification of the Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019 (No. 190), with the Director-General of the ILO, thereby becoming the ninth country in the world, and the second European country, to ratify Convention No. 190.

Mr Andrea Orlando, Minister of Labour and Social Policies of the Italian Republic, deposited the instrument of ratification with Mr Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General, in a ceremony held in Rome.

Convention No. 190 is a landmark instrument. It is the first international labour standard to address violence and harassment in the world of work. Together with Recommendation No. 206, it provides a common framework for action and a unique opportunity to shape a future of work based on dignity and respect.  The Convention affirms that everyone has the right to a world – and a workplace – free from violence and harassment. It provides the first internationally agreed definition of violence and harassment in the world of work, including of gender-based violence. 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”. This definition covers everyone who is working, including interns or apprentices, persons who exercise the duties or authority of an employer, the public and private sectors, the formal and informal economies, as well as urban and rural areas.

The Convention also requires ratifying Member States to adopt, in consultation with representative employers’ and workers’ organizations, an inclusive, integrated and gender-responsive approach to preventing and eliminating violence and harassment, through prevention, protection and enforcement measures and remedies, as well as guidance, training and awareness-raising. It also recognizes the different and complementary roles and functions of governments, employers and workers and their respective organizations, taking into account the varying nature and extent of their responsibilities. The Convention and Recommendation are tangible evidence of the enduring value and strength of social dialogue and tripartism, which will be essential in implementing them at national level.

In depositing the official instrument of ratification, Minister Orlando stated: “This Convention is an important step towards a safe, healthy and inclusive world of work that is free from violence and harassment for all and, in particular, for persons in the most vulnerable situations. The elimination of gender-based violence and harassment ensures that everyone can freely contribute to the progress of our societies. The Convention is the result of strong tripartite social dialogue and cooperation that is promoted by the ILO on a global scale. The Italian Government will pursue this dialogue and cooperation in the implementation of the Convention.”

Receiving the instrument of ratification of Convention No.190, the Director-General stated: “The ratification by the Government of Italy represents an important step that strengthen the measures taken at the national level to tackle work-related violence and harassment at the workplace. Convention No.190 and its recommendation represent an element of paramount importance in the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, particularly Sustainable Development Goals 5 (gender equality) and 8 (decent work and economic growth). The framework provided by these instruments sets out important protections for workers that is, more than ever, of utmost importance during the current COVID-19 pandemic, since many forms of work-related violence and harassment have been reported across countries since the outbreak began. Moreover, Convention No. 190 has a crucial role in shaping a human-centred response and recovery that tackles injustice and supports the building of a better normal, free from violence and harassment.”