Author: Ellen Pinkos Cobb
For the first time, violence and harassment in the world of work are covered in new international labour standards, adopted at the Centenary International Labour Conference and now open for ratification by ILO Member States. Before adoption of the Convention, there had been no international legal standard that addressed violence and harassment in the workplace or provided a definition and scope for it.
On June 21, 2019, at the International Labour Conference's annual meeting, the ILO adopted the new Convention and Recommendation to Combat Violence and Harassment in the Workplace. Conventions are legally binding international treaties that may be ratified by Member States, while Recommendations provide advice and guidance.
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 potentially covers physical abuse, verbal abuse, bullying and mobbing, sexual harassment, threats, and stalking, among other things. The Convention also takes account of the fact that nowadays, work does not always take place at a physical workplace; so, for example, it covers work-related communications, including those enabled by information and communication technology.
Convention No. 190 will enter into force 12 months after two Member States have ratified it.
Convention 190, Convention Concerning The Elimination Of Violence And Harassment In The World Of Work at https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---ed_norm/---relconf/documents/meetingdocument/wcms_711570.pdf.
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