International Labour Standards

Philippines ratifies Convention No. 190 on Violence and Harassment in the World of Work

Philippines becomes the 38th country in the world, and the first Asian country, to ratify Convention No. 190.

News | 22 February 2024
GENEVA (ILO News) – On 20 February 2024, the Republic of the Philippines deposited the instrument of ratification of the Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019 (No. 190), with the Deputy Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO). By depositing the instrument of ratification, the Philippines becomes the 38th country in the world, and the first Asian country, to ratify Convention No. 190.

Convention No. 190 is the first international labour standard to address violence and harassment in the world of work comprehensively. Together with Recommendation No. 206, it establishes a framework for action, fostering a future of work grounded in dignity and respect. These instruments align with the objectives outlined in the ILO Centenary Declaration on the Future of Work, emphasizing a workplace free from violence and harassment, and supporting a human-centred recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

The Convention affirms the fundamental right of individuals to a workplace free from violence and harassment. It introduces the first globally recognized definition of workplace violence and harassment, offering protection to all individuals in the workforce, including interns, apprentices, and those with employer duties or authority. This protection extends across various sectors, including public and private, formal and informal economies, and urban and rural areas.

Furthermore, the Convention mandates member states to adopt, in consultation with representative employers' and workers' organizations, inclusive, gender-responsive strategies for preventing and eradicating workplace violence and harassment. This approach includes prevention, protection, and enforcement measures, as well as remedies, guidance, training, and awareness-raising initiatives. Acknowledging the distinct roles of governments, employers, workers, and their organizations, the Convention emphasizes the importance of social dialogue and tripartism in implementing these measures at the national level.

During the ceremony held at the ILO headquarters in Geneva, the Undersecretary (Vice Minister) for Labour and Employment, M. Ernesto Bitonio stated: “The Philippines recognizes that as the First international instrument to institutionalize the “right to a world of work free from violence and Harassment” as a specific right, convention 190 breaks new ground in the boldness of its scope and ambition. Where it speaks of a “right in the world of work,” it Transcends the traditional boundaries of physical Spaces, territory and geography, of formal and Informal work arrangements, of urban and rural communities, of corporate halls and households. It embraces a world expanded by technology and at the same time brought tighter by it, and where very often men and women find their work, their family and social lives, and all other affairs of ordinary life increasingly fused and intertwined. Above all these, the convention ultimately calls upon us to agree on a baseline of acceptable behavior that respects every worker equally as a human being who has full freedom to choose and pursue the things that society values whatever [their] status, capabilities and sector are.”

Upon receiving the instrument of ratification for Convention No. 190, ILO Deputy Director-General, Celeste Drake, stated: “The ILO welcomes the ratification of Convention No. 190 by the Philippines. This ratification marks an important step to preventing and eliminating violence and harassment in the world of work. It is time to make workplaces free from violence and harassment a reality everywhere, promoting and realizing social justice for all.

To date, the Republic of the Philippines has ratified 39 ILO Conventions, with 31 of them currently in force. For additional details, please refer to NORMLEX.