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For a world of work free from violence and harassment

Jan 1, 2022

Trade unions around the world are demanding the ratification of binding international standards to stop violence and harassment in the world of work, including gender-based violence and harassment.

25 November - International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Take action for a World of Work free from Violence and Harassment

On 25 November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, now more than ever, we must push for the ratification and implementation of ILO Convention 190 on Violence and Harassment in the World of Work

PSI is calling on all affiliates to join in the action. Find out more here.

25 November 2021 - Take Action

The International Labour Organization Convention 190 and Recommendation 206 on violence and harassment in the world of work came into force on 25 June 2021.

Affecting millions of workers globally, physical assault, bullying, sexual harassment, online abuse, economic violence and abusive work practices are the most widespread forms of violence in the world of work.

We have recently seen, throughout the pandemic, the impact of violence on women and women health workers making C190 more relevant than ever as we continue to face the challenges of working from home, the digitalization of work and the indivisibility of domestic space from the workplace.

Thanks to intensive lobbying by trade unions and women groups across the world, Convention 190 and Recommendation 206, provide a foundation for trade unions and other stakeholders to address 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.


Global Unions have developped a toolkit to support the Convention 190 (C190) and its Recommendation 206 (R206).

The manual will provide thousands of unions around the world with critical tools for the fight to eradicate violence and harassment in the world of work.

The toolkit aims to provide unions with tools to develop workplace solutions that tackle violence and harassment, with a special focus on gender-based violence and harassment and ensure that violence is no longer considered as “part of the job”.


The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how violence and harassment are systemic in the world of work, including gender-based violence. Now, more than ever, it is urgent to ratify and implement this convention. #RatifyC190.

In late December 2020, as the world ended the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (GBV), the Namibian government ratified the Convention. Since then, in the first weeks of 2021, Italy and Ecuador have also taken the decision to ratify the ILO Convention. Italy is the first European country and Ecuador will be the third country in the region after Uruguay and Argentina.

On 11 November 2020, Argentina became the third country to ratify ILO Convention 190, it's Chamber of Deputies approved the law with 241 votes in favour, one against and two abstentions.

Fiji became the second country to ratify the ILO’s Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019 (No. 190), after Uruguay did so on 12 June. With the deposit of this second ratification, the Convention will enter into force on 25 June 2021.

With 439 votes in favour, 7 against and 30 abstentions, the International Labour Conference (ILC) adopted on 21 June 2019, Convention 190 and Recommendation 206 on Violence and Harassment in the World of Work.

The success of this initiative in the fight to eliminate gender-based violence at work is due to several years of hard work by women trade unionists, starting at the ILO in 2015 and now rewarded by a new international instrument that deals with violence and harassment in a comprehensive way that includes everyone in the world of work.

PSI is calling on International Labour Organisation (ILO) member states to urgently ratify and bring into force new global legislation to end violence and harassment at work.


25 November 2019 - International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. PSI World Women Committee members call for the ratification of ILO Convention C190 on Violence and Harassment in the world of work.

Ratify ILO Convention 190

Campaign updates:

The main points:

  • The emergence and recognition of a new right at the international level: the right to a workplace free of violence and harassment;

  • The scope of the instrument, which includes the world of work in its entirety rather than only the physical space of the workplace;

  • Endorsement of the role of freedom of association and collective bargaining in ensuring protection of this right;

  • Elimination of language referring to workers’ and employers’ representatives as victims and perpetrators of violence, which removes the potential for employers to attack the right to strike.

Campaign materials


Watch this short video produced by Global Unions explaining how women are disproportionally affected by the harmful aspects of violence in the world of work and why a Convention on Violence and Harassment in the World of Work is so important.

Violence is not only physical!

Public sector workers

Although there is universal recognition that international labour standards apply to all workers, PSI is celebrating the explicit inclusion of the public sector in the protection provided by this Convention and Recommendation and the inclusion of public sector workers and employers in the implementation mechanisms. We have fought to achieve this for a long time and the fact that this instrument, although not specifically about public sector workers, includes them represents a milestone in our struggle.

Other aspects of this instrument’s importance for winning fundamental rights:

  • The right to equality and non-discrimination in employment and occupation for women and members of other vulnerable groups that are disproportionately affected by violence and harassment, which, although initially omitted from an extensive list, were finally included after much discussion;

  • Recognition that “third parties” can be victims and perpetrators of violence;

  • Recognition that domestic violence has an impact on the world of work, making it necessary to take mitigating measures;

  • Recognition that organisation of the productive process and working conditions constitute risk factors for violence and need to be taken into account when formulating prevention measures.


Interview with PSI General Secretary, Rosa Pavanelli, following #ILC2019 that marked the adoption of C190, the Convention concerning the elimination of violence and harassment in the world of work.

Interview with Rosa Pavanelli - #ILC2019


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