In June 2019, the International Labour Organisation adopted a new Convention and Recommendation to combat violence and harassment in the workplace at the International Labour Conference. The Convention recognises that violence and harassment in the workplace can constitute a human rights violation or abuse, is a threat to equal opportunities, is unacceptable and is incompatible with decent work.
The Convention provides a broad definition of "violence and harassment" and describes where it can take place. It defines “violence and harassment” as behaviours, practices or threats “that aim at, result in, or are likely to result in physical, psychological, sexual or economic harm.” The standard covers violence and harassment occurring in the workplace; places where a worker is paid, takes a rest or meal break, or uses sanitary, washing or changing facilities; during work-related trips, travel, training, events or social activities; work-related communications...in employer-provided accommodation; and when commuting to and from work.
The Convention states that everyone has the right to be free from violence and harassment, including gender-based violence, at work. It requires governments to take measures to protect workers from violence and harassment, especially women. It reminds member States that they have a responsibility to promote a zero tolerance. The recognises that employers can also be subjected to violence and harassment.