Council takes a step forward towards the adoption of the Council Decision on Violence and Harassment

The Council adopted its position on a draft decision inviting member states to ratify the Violence and Harassment Convention (Convention 190) adopted by the International Labour Organization.

This Council Decision paves the way for Member States to ratify Convention 190. Our commitment to real and effective equality and non-discrimination is unequivocal and enables the EU to push forward feminist protection policies and the rights of men and women.

Yolanda Díaz Pérez, Acting Spanish Minister of Labour and Social Economy

Violence and harassment at work is a widespread and persistent phenomenon around the world: more than one in five people have experienced violence and harassment at work, whether physical, psychological or sexual, with women being particularly at risk.

The Violence and Harassment Convention is the first international instrument setting out minimum standards on tackling work-related harassment and violence. This Convention will help promote decent work for all, health and safety at work and gender equality, and will help to combat discrimination.

With this draft decision, member states are invited to ratify the parts of the Convention that specifically concern the improvement of the working environment to protect workers’ health and safety and equality between men and women in matters of employment.

Background and next steps

In 2019, the International Labour Conference adopted the International Labour Organization’s Convention concerning the elimination of violence and harassment in the world of work.

The Convention provides a common framework to prevent, remedy and eliminate violence and harassment in the world of work, including gender-based violence and harassment.

For the first time in international law, the right of everyone to a world of work free from violence and harassment is specifically recognised, including the obligation to respect, promote and realise this right. It also provides the first international definition of violence and harassment in the world of work.

All member states have supported the objectives of this Convention and have played a key role in its adoption in ILO.

The Council decision inviting member states to ratify the Violence and Harassment Convention will be formally adopted once the European Parliament has given its consent.