Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

News 24/01/2020

Commission encourages EU Member States to ratify the violence and harassment convention

The European Commission adopted a proposal for a Council Decision allowing Member States to take forward the process of ratifying at national level the Convention on the elimination of violence and harassment in the world of work.

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The convention, adopted during the International Labour Organisation (ILO) centenary in June 2019, is the first international instrument setting out global standards on work-related harassment and violence.

The convention recognises that violence and harassment at work can be a human rights violation or abuse, posing a threat to equal opportunities.

The EU cannot ratify ILO conventions because the EU is not a member of the organisation, only Member States can ratify such conventions. When the ILO instrument touches on EU competences, a Council decision authorising ratification is required. 

According to the survey on violence against women conducted by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, 1 in 2 women in the EU said they have experienced some sort of sexual harassment at least once since the age of 15. Of all sexual harassment, in 32% of the reported cases, the perpetrator was someone related to the woman's employment (colleague, boss or customer).

More information about the convention is available on the ILO website

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