PH 1st in Asia to ratify ILO accord vs workplace violence, harassment

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)


MANILA, Philippines —The Philippines has deposited its ratification document of the Violence and Harassment Convention, No. 190 of the International Labour Organization (ILO) on Violence and Harassment in the Workplace, marking the country as the first in Asia to ratify the convention, and the 38th in the world.

According to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Tuesday, this marks the country’s commitment to protecting workers and ensuring social justice in the country’s labor sector.

“We consider it auspicious to deposit the instrument of ratification today, 20 February 2024, as we celebrate the World Day of Social Justice. This event may look simple, but it symbolizes several policy initiatives and milestones on what labor and employment in the Philippines has achieved, particularly over the last twenty months,” DOLE Undersecretary Benedicto Ernesto Bitonio Jr. said.

“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,” ILO Deputy Director-General Celeste Drake said.

The DOLE said that the provisions of Convention 190 are incorporated into several laws such as the Magna Carta of Women and the Philippine Safe Spaces Act.

It added that the Senate approved the convention in 2023.

According to the ILO, Convention No. 190 is the first international labor standard that will “address violence and harassment in the world of work comprehensively.”

“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,” the ILO said.