Fact Service March 2022

Issue 10

UK ratifies harassment and violence convention

This week the UK ratified ILO (International Labour Organization) Convention No 190 on violence and harassment in the workplace, becoming the 11th country in the world, and the third country in Europe to do so.

The convention is the first international labour standard to address workplace violence and harassment. According to the ILO, 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”.

Convention 190 affirms that everyone has the right to a world of work free from violence and harassment, and provides the first internationally agreed definition of violence and harassment in the world of work, including of gender-based violence,.

It requires ratifying member states to adopt, “in consultation with representative employers’ and workers’ organisations, 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”.

Commenting on the move, TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Ratifying the convention is a welcome statement of intent. Unions have campaigned hard for several years to get global protection against workplace violence and harassment, and today’s ratification will help to get other nations signed up too.”