PSI welcomes Canada's ratification of ILO Convention 190

Canada is the 25th country to ratify ILO Convention 190, which aims to eliminate violence and harassment in the world of work

ILO Convention 190 and Recommendation 206 on violence and harassment in the world of work entered into force on 25 June 2021. The convention is the first worldwide to seek to guarantee the universal right to a world of work free from violence and harassment and has been ratified by 25 countries. The latest is Canada, on 30 January 2023.

The world has recently seen, throughout the pandemic, the impact of violence on women and women health workers, which makes Convention 190 even more relevant. Thanks to intense lobbying by trade unions and women's groups around the world, the Convention and Recommendation lay the groundwork for trade unions and other stakeholders to address violence and harassment in the world of work. "For the public sector, which is largely made up of women, the Canadian government's ratification of Convention 190 is a step in the right direction. It provides a clear framework to prohibit, prevent and respond to violence and harassment in the workplace, regardless of its location," said Julie Bouchard, President of the Quebec Interprofessional Health Federation and IAMREC member. "As health care workers, we hope that the elements of the Convention will be incorporated into legislation, government policies and collective agreements so that each of our members can have the right to a work environment free of violence and harassment," she added. 

Convention 190 recognises that everyone in the world of work - governments, employers, trade unions and individual workers - has a role to play in providing and maintaining a work culture free of violence and based on respect and dignity for all. "Canada's recent ratification of this Convention sets a precedent for both the region and the world.  The Americas region now accounts for 11 of the 25 ratifications, representing 44% worldwide," said PSI gender officer Verónica Montúfar. For her, "this step by Canada demonstrates to the world an articulated tripartite work that started from the discussions for the adoption in 2018 and 2019 and later in the consultation at both national and federal level to adjust coherence at all levels, as well as with gender mainstreaming.  We welcome this progress and congratulate our affiliated unions in the country for their work to achieve it and to continue with a more legitimate implementation".