Convention No. 190 is the first international instrument that specifically recognizes the right of everyone to a world of work free from violence and harassment (Art. 4). Convention No. 190 and Recommendation No. 206 critically complement other international instruments, such as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and international labour standards on equality and non-discrimination and on occupational safety and health, which also provide protection from violence and harassment, but do so implicitly. 15
Box 8. The right to a world of work free from violence and harassment in labour law and collective agreement provisions
In recent years, a growing number of countries have increasingly stressed in their work-related legislation and regulations the right to be free from violence and harassment.
Andorra: Article 44(2) (rights of the salaried person) of the 2018 Labour Code states as follows:
In implementing the employment contract, the salaried person has the right: …
e. Not to be discriminated against directly or indirectly when being hired, or once hired, on the basis of birth, race, sex, sexual orientation, origin, religion, disability, opinion or any other personal or social condition, or affiliation, or no, to a trade union or political organization; …
g. Respect for their privacy and consideration due to their dignity, including protection against harassment for the reasons of letter e) above.
Romania: The Labour Code, as amended in 2020, states the right of all employee to a job free from acts of moral harassment (Art. 5.3).
Iraq: According to article 42 of the 2015 Labour Law:
The worker has the following rights: …
- To have equal opportunities and be recruited and work under equal conditions, without any discrimination.
- To have a working environment, free from any harassment.
Italy: The new collective agreement for the shipping industry signed on 16 December 2020, recognizes the right of every seafarer “to work, train and live in an environment free from harassment and bullying on the grounds of sex, race and of any other nature” (Confitarma et al. 2020).
Senegal: The Senegalese Interprofessional Collective Agreement signed on 30 December 2019 does not explicitly mention Convention No. 190. However, its main contents, including the right to be free from violence and harassment and the need for an inclusive, integrated and gender-responsive approach, are included.
15 In connection with Article 7(b) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has consistently stressed factors such as freedom from violence and harassment – including sexual harassment – as being fundamental to guaranteeing the right to just and favourable conditions of work. See also Chappell and Di Martino 2006; Lippel 2016.