Milestone ILO Convention 190 celebrates first anniversary

22 Jun 2020

Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of the historic adoption of the ILO Convention 190 on violence and harassment in the world of work which is supplemented by Recommendation 206. The adoption came after many years of extensive global campaigning led by International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF).

For the ground-breaking convention to enter into force, it must be ratified by at least two countries by June 2020. So far only Uruguay has ratified C190 with other countries indicating that they will follow suit.

“Ratifying ILO C190 is key in achieving decent and fair work for all and women’s rights and equality in the workplace. Yet, only Uruguay has taken a step forward in the right direction by ratifying this crucial convention. We urge all European countries to follow suit! The current health crisis shouldn’t be used as an excuse to sweep this issue under the rug! ETF will continue the fight against violence and harassment in transport”, commented ETF Secretary General Livia Spera.

The convention is a notable milestone as it is the first established international labour standard that aims to prevent and address violence and harassment in the world of work, including gender-based violence and harassment:

  • It covers all individuals in the world of work
  • It applies to all sectors, formal and informal, private or public
  • It defines violence and harassment not only as physical acts but also as “a range of unacceptable behaviours 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”
  • It recognises domestic violence as a workplace issue
  • It defines the world of work as a broader concept than just the physical workplace
  • It recognises the transport sector as a sector which exposes workers to a higher risk of violence and harassment

Sara Tripodi, Chair of the ETF Women’s Committee explains its significance for women transport workers:

“ETF’s recent survey revealed that 49% of women transport workers think that their workplace does not prioritise a safe and adequate environment for women. Currently, only 22% of women are transport workers. Numbers speak volumes. Ratifying this convention is a step forward towards gender equality. It’s a step forward towards eliminating gender-based violence at work. It’s a step forward to achieving the goal of the ETF Women’s Committee: making the transport sector fit and safe for women to work in!  We urge governments to ratify!

Indeed, this September, the ETF will launch its campaign on making the transport sector fit and fair for women to work in. As part of the campaign kit, an updated workplace model policy on violence and harassment against women transport workers will be made available.

To further support the ratification of ILO C190, ETF will intensify its involvement in the ITUC campaign. We urge governments to take a step in the right direction, and ratify!

For further information on this critical instrument, please visit these links: