The General Conference of the International Labor Organization,
Having been convened at Geneva by the Governing Body of the International Labor Office, and having met in its 108th (Centenary) Session on 10 June 2019, and
Recalling that the Declaration of Philadelphia affirms that all human beings, irrespective of race, creed, or sex, have the right to pursue both their material well-being and their spiritual development in conditions of freedom and dignity, of economic security and equal opportunity, and
Reaffirming the relevance of the fundamental Conventions of the International Labor Organization, and
Recalling other relevant international instruments such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and
Recognizing the right of everyone to a world of work free from violence and harassment, including gender-based violence and harassment, and
Recognizing that violence and harassment in the world of work can constitute a human rights violation or abuse, and that violence and harassment is a threat to equal opportunities, is unacceptable and incompatible with decent work, and
Recognizing the importance of a work culture based on mutual respect and dignity of the human being to prevent violence and harassment, and
Recalling that Members have an important responsibility to promote a general environment of zero tolerance to violence and harassment in order to facilitate the prevention of such behaviors and practices, and that all actors in the world of work must refrain from, prevent, and address violence and harassment, and
Acknowledging that violence and harassment in the world of work affects a person’s psychological, physical, and sexual health, dignity, and family and social environment, and
Recognizing that violence and harassment also affects the quality of public and private services, and may prevent persons, particularly women, from accessing, and remaining and advancing in the labor market, and
Noting that violence and harassment is incompatible with the promotion of sustainable enterprises and impacts negatively on the organization of work, workplace relations, worker engagement, enterprise reputation, and productivity, and
Acknowledging that gender-based violence and harassment disproportionately affects women and girls, and recognizing that an inclusive, integrated and gender-responsive approach, which tackles underlying causes and risk factors, including gender stereotypes, multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination, and unequal gender-based power relations, is essential to ending violence and harassment in the world of work, and
Noting that domestic violence can affect employment, productivity and health and safety, and that governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations and labor market institutions can help, as part of other measures, to recognize, respond to and address the impacts of domestic violence, and
Having decided upon the adoption of certain proposals concerning violence and harassment in the world of work, which is the fifth item on the agenda of the session, and
Having determined that these proposals shall take the form of an international Convention,
adopts this twenty-first day of June of the year two thousand and nineteen the following Convention, which may be cited as the Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019:
- For the purpose of this Convention:
- the term “violence and harassment” in the world of work refers to a range of unacceptable behaviors and practices, or threats thereof, whether a single occurrence or repeated, that aim at, result in, or are likely to result in physical, psychological, sexual or economic harm, and includes gender-based violence and harassment;
- the term “gender-based violence and harassment” means violence and harassment directed at persons because of their sex or gender or affecting persons of a particular sex or gender disproportionately, and includes sexual harassment.
- Without prejudice to subparagraphs (a) and (b) of paragraph 1 of this Article, definitions in national laws and regulations may provide for a single concept or separate concepts.
- This Convention protects workers and other persons in the world of work, including employees as defined by national law and practice, as well as persons working irrespective of their contractual status, persons in training, including interns and apprentices, workers whose employment has been terminated, volunteers, jobseekers and job applicants, and individuals exercising the authority, duties or responsibilities of an employer.
- This Convention applies to all sectors, whether private or public, both in the formal and informal economy, and whether in urban or rural areas.
This Convention applies to violence and harassment in the world of work occurring in the course of, linked with or arising out of work:
- in the workplace, including public and private spaces where they are a place of work;
- in places where the worker is paid, takes a rest break or a meal, or uses sanitary, washing and changing facilities;
- during work-related trips, travel, training, events or social activities;
- through work-related communications, including those enabled by information and communication technologies;
- in employer-provided accommodation; and
- when commuting to and from work.
III. CORE PRINCIPLES
- Each Member which ratifies this Convention shall respect, promote and realize the right of everyone to a world of work free from violence and harassment.
- Each Member shall adopt, in accordance with national law and circumstances and in consultation with representative employers’ and workers’ organizations, an inclusive, integrated and gender-responsive approach for the prevention and elimination of violence and harassment in the world of work. Such an approach should take into account violence and harassment involving third parties, where applicable, and includes:
- prohibiting in law violence and harassment;
- ensuring that relevant policies address violence and harassment;
- adopting a comprehensive strategy in order to implement measures to prevent and combat violence and harassment;
- establishing or strengthening enforcement and monitoring mechanisms;
- ensuring access to remedies and support for victims;
- providing for sanctions;
- developing tools, guidance, education and training, and raising awareness, in accessible formats as appropriate; and
- ensuring effective means of inspection and investigation of cases of violence and harassment, including through labor inspectorates or other competent bodies.
- In adopting and implementing the approach referred to in paragraph 2 of this Article, each Member shall recognize the different and complementary roles and functions of governments, and employers and workers and their respective organizations, taking into account the varying nature and extent of their respective responsibilities.
With a view to preventing and eliminating violence and harassment in the world of work, each Member shall respect, promote and realize the fundamental principles and rights at work, namely freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining, the elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour, the effective abolition of child labour and the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation, as well as promote decent work.
Each Member shall adopt laws, regulations and policies ensuring the right to equality and non-discrimination in employment and occupation, including for women workers, as well as for workers and other persons belonging to one or more vulnerable groups or groups in situations of vulnerability that are disproportionately affected by violence and harassment in the world of work.
IV.PROTECTION AND PREVENTION
Without prejudice to and consistent with Article 1, each Member shall adopt laws and regulations to define and prohibit violence and harassment in the world of work, including gender-based violence and harassment.
Each Member shall take appropriate measures to prevent violence and harassment in the world of work, including:
- recognizing the important role of public authorities in the case of informal economy workers;
- identifying, in consultation with the employers’ and workers’ organizations concerned and through other means, the sectors or occupations and work arrangements in which workers and other persons concerned are more exposed to violence and harassment; and
- taking measures to effectively protect such persons.
Each Member shall adopt laws and regulations requiring employers to take appropriate steps commensurate with their degree of control to prevent violence and harassment in the world of work, including gender-based violence and harassment, and in particular, so far as is reasonably practicable, to:
- adopt and implement, in consultation with workers and their representatives, a workplace policy on violence and harassment;
- take into account violence and harassment and associated psychosocial risks in the management of occupational safety and health;
- identify hazards and assess the risks of violence and harassment, with the participation of workers and their representatives, and take measures to prevent and control them; and
- provide to workers and other persons concerned information and training, in accessible formats as appropriate, on the identified hazards and risks of violence and harassment and the associated prevention and protection measures, including on the rights and responsibilities of workers and other persons concerned in relation to the policy referred to in subparagraph (a) of this Article.
V. ENFORCEMENT AND REMEDIES
Each Member shall take appropriate measures to:
- monitor and enforce national laws and regulations regarding violence and harassment in the world of work;
- ensure easy access to appropriate and effective remedies and safe, fair and effective reporting and dispute resolution mechanisms and procedures in cases of violence and harassment in the world of work, such as:
- complaint and investigation procedures, as well as, where appropriate, dispute resolution mechanisms at the workplace level;
- dispute resolution mechanisms external to the workplace;
- courts or tribunals;
- protection against victimization of or retaliation against complainants, victims, witnesses and whistle-blowers; and
- legal, social, medical and administrative support measures for complainants and victims;
- protect the privacy of those individuals involved and confidentiality, to the extent possible and as appropriate, and ensure that requirements for privacy and confidentiality are not misused;
- provide for sanctions, where appropriate, in cases of violence and harassment in the world of work;
- provide that victims of gender-based violence and harassment in the world of work have effective access to gender-responsive, safe and effective complaint and dispute resolution mechanisms, support, services and remedies;
- recognize the effects of domestic violence and, so far as is reasonably practicable, mitigate its impact in the world of work;
- ensure that workers have the right to remove themselves from a work situation which they have reasonable justification to believe presents an imminent and serious danger to life, health or safety due to violence and harassment, without suffering retaliation or other undue consequences, and the duty to inform management; and
- ensure that labor inspectorates and other relevant authorities, as appropriate, are empowered to deal with violence and harassment in the world of work, including by issuing orders requiring measures with immediate executory force, and orders to stop work in cases of an imminent danger to life, health or safety, subject to any right of appeal to a judicial or administrative authority which may be provided by law.
VI. GUIDANCE, TRAINING AND AWARENESS-RAISING
Each Member, in consultation with representative employers’ and workers’ organizations, shall seek to ensure that:
- violence and harassment in the world of work is addressed in relevant national policies, such as those concerning occupational safety and health, equality and non-discrimination, and migration;
- employers and workers and their organizations, and relevant authorities, are provided with guidance, resources, training or other tools, in accessible formats as appropriate, on violence and harassment in the world of work, including on gender-based violence and harassment; and
- initiatives, including awareness-raising campaigns, are undertaken.
VII. METHODS OF APPLICATION
The provisions of this Convention shall be applied by means of national laws and regulations, as well as through collective agreements or other measures consistent with national practice, including by extending or adapting existing occupational safety and health measures to cover violence and harassment and developing specific measures where necessary.
VIII. FINAL PROVISIONS
The formal ratifications of this Convention shall be communicated to the Director-General of the International Labour Office for registration.
- This Convention shall be binding only upon those Members of the International Labor Organization whose ratifications have been registered with the Director-General of the International Labor Office.
- It shall come into force twelve months after the date on which the ratifications of two Members have been registered with the Director-General.
- Thereafter, this Convention shall come into force for any Member twelve months after the date on which its ratification is registered.
- A Member which has ratified this Convention may denounce it after the expiration of ten years from the date on which the Convention first comes into force, by an act communicated to the Director-General of the International Labor Office for registration. Such denunciation shall not take effect until one year after the date on which it is registered.
- Each Member which has ratified this Convention and which does not, within the year following the expiration of the period of ten years mentioned in the preceding paragraph, exercise the right of denunciation provided for in this Article, will be bound for another period of ten years and, thereafter, may denounce this Convention within the first year of each new period of ten years under the terms provided for in this Article.
- The Director-General of the International Labor Office shall notify all Members of the International Labor Organization of the registration of all ratifications and denunciations that have been communicated by the Members of the Organization.
- When notifying the Members of the Organization of the registration of the second ratification that has been communicated, the Director-General shall draw the attention of the Members of the Organization to the date upon which the Convention will come into force.
The Director-General of the International Labour Office shall communicate to the Secretary-General of the United Nations for registration in accordance with Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations full particulars of all ratifications and denunciations that have been registered in accordance with the provisions of the preceding Articles.
At such times as it may consider necessary, the Governing Body of the International Labour Office shall present to the General Conference a report on the working of this Convention and shall examine the desirability of placing on the agenda of the Conference the question of its revision in whole or in part.
- Should the Conference adopt a new Convention revising this Convention, then, unless the new Convention otherwise provides:
- the ratification by a Member of the new revising Convention shall ipso jure involve the immediate denunciation of this Convention, notwithstanding the provisions of Article 15 above, if and when the new revising Convention shall have come into force;
- as from the date when the new revising Convention comes into force, this Convention shall cease to be open to ratification by the Members.
- This Convention shall in any case remain in force in its actual form and content for those Members which have ratified it but have not ratified the revising Convention.
The English and French versions of the text of this Convention are equally authoritative.