Portugal ratifies the ILO Convention on Violence and Harassment

On 16 February 2024, Portugal deposited the instrument of ratification of the Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019 (No. 190) , with the Director-General of the ILO. By depositing the instrument of ratification, Portugal becomes the 37th country in the world, and the 8th country in the European Union, to ratify Convention No. 190.

The first international labour standard to deal with violence and harassment in the world of work, Convention No. 190, together with Recommendation No. 206 , provides a common tripartite framework for action and a unique opportunity to shape a future based on social justice and decent work. These two instruments are essential to achieving the objectives set by the ILO Centenary Declaration on the Future of Work, adopted the same year, and more recently by those set by the ILO Global Call to Action for an inclusive, sustainable, and resilient people-centred recovery from the crisis of COVID-19.

The Convention affirms that everyone has the right to a world of work free from violence and harassment and provides the first internationally recognised definition of violence and harassment in the world of work, including gender-based violence and harassment. The protection offered by the Convention applies to all persons in the world of work and to persons exercising the authority, functions, or responsibilities of an employer. It covers the public and private sectors, the formal and informal economy, and urban and rural areas.

The Convention requires ratifying Member States to adopt, in consultation with representative employers’ and workers’ organisations, an inclusive, gender-sensitive and integrated approach to preventing and eliminating violence and harassment, including protection, prevention, monitoring and appropriate remedies, guidance, training and awareness-raising.

Depositing the official instrument of ratification at the ceremony held at the ILO in Geneva, Mr Rui Macieira – Portugal Ambassador to the UN Office and other international organizations in Geneva stated: “My country attaches the utmost importance to the ratification, implementation, and promotion of all ILO labour standard. We believe that, while Convention No.190 will be determinant for the elimination of violence and harassment in the workplace and thus for the protection of workers’ rights, it will also be a game changer in terms of productivity and performance. The ILO can count on my country’s commitment to work towards this goal. “

In receiving the instrument of ratification of Convention No. 190, ILO Director-General Gilbert F. Houngbo commended Portugal for reaffirming its firm commitment to create a world of work free from violence and harassment, based on dignity, equality, and respect for all so that no one is left behind. He also noted that, over the last couple of years, Portugal has approved several legal measures aimed at preventing and fighting violence and harassment in the world of work in preparation for this ratification.

To date, Portugal has ratified 85 conventions and 2 protocols (66 of which are in force). For more information, consult the NORMLEX  database.

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