Each country has its own internal process for ratifying international Conventions, which often involves a decision or approval by the national legislature. Countries that have ratified the ILO Tripartite Consultation (International Labour Standards) Convention, 1976 (No. 144), have an obligation “to operate procedures which ensure effective consultations, with respect to the matters concerning the activities of the International Labour Organisation … between representatives of the government, of employers and of workers” (Art. 2) (ILO 2019a, 50). Once the internal ratification process is completed, the Government submits an instrument of ratification to the Director-General of the ILO for registration. The Convention enters into force – that is, becomes legally binding – for the country 12 months following registration of its instrument of ratification by the Director-General. 46
The procedures of submission to the competent national authorities and of ratification are a unique opportunity to spark social dialogue on the content of the Convention and the measures needed to implement it. Ensuring social dialogue is of paramount importance. All actors of the world of work need to be involved, and listened to. Social dialogue leads to better outcomes since it provides more practical information, and offers a range of approaches and solutions by those directly concerned. Engaging in tripartite consultation also helps bring the Convention to the knowledge of a broader public and build a sense of ownership, which is likely to result in ensuring effective implementation. Participation of representative workers’ and employers’ organizations in social dialogue should be on an “equal footing”, according to ILO Convention No. 144, and representation should be gender-responsive and inclusive.
In moving forward towards ratification, a country may opt for an assessment of their current legislative framework with a view to taking stock of existing laws, regulations and practices dealing with violence and harassment and to identifying relevant gaps. Taking into account the actual provisions in laws and regulations, and the areas identified where better protection is needed, one or more regulatory initiatives based on defined policy objectives can be prepared.
46 An adopted Convention normally comes into force 12 months after being ratified by two Member States. Following ratification by Uruguay and Fiji, Convention No. 190 came into force on 25 June 2021.