Stakeholder consultation on ratification by Ireland of ILO Convention 190 – Violence and Harassment, 2019

The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment is seeking views from stakeholders and interested parties on the ratification by Ireland of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019 (No. 190). The consultation will be open until 26 September 2022.


ILO Violence and Harassment Convention C190, and an accompanying Recommendation 206, were adopted on 21 June 2019 at the 108th Session of the ILO International Labour Conference (ILC). It is the first ever international instrument on the very important issue of eliminating violence and harassment in the world of work.  

The ILO is a United Nations agency which brings together governments, employers and workers representatives of 187 member States to develop International Labour Standards, policies and programmes promoting decent work for all. Its tripartite nature is unique in the UN system. International Labour Standards are legal instruments drawn up by the ILO constituents that set out basic principles and rights at work. Instruments include:

  • Conventions - legally binding international treaties that may be ratified by member States
  • Protocols - procedural devices for adding extra flexibility to a Convention or for extending a Convention’s obligations
  • Recommendations which are not legally binding and serve as guidelines to help member States formulate their policy at a national level

An ILO member State has no obligation to ratify a Convention, but if it does ratify, it undertakes to implement the provisions of the Convention and to report regularly to the ILO on its implementation. Reports are subject to review by a Committee of Experts that reports annually to the ILC on the degree of compliance of member States with respect to ratified Conventions. 

Key aspects of the Convention

This Convention protects workers and other persons in the world of work irrespective of their contractual status, including interns, volunteers, job applicants, and individuals exercising the authority of an employer. It applies to the public and private sectors, the formal and informal economy, and urban and rural areas. The Convention acknowledges that workers and other persons in certain sectors, occupations and work arrangements are especially vulnerable to violence and harassment and provides scope for the identification of the sectors specific to each country through tripartite consultation. Gender-based violence and harassment is specifically highlighted, and the approach also takes into account third parties (for example, clients, customers, service providers and patients) because they can be victims as well as perpetrators. The impact of domestic violence on the world of work is also included.

National context

Ireland already has very strong protections in law to combat violence and harassment in the world of work and has ratified the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention). The ratification of Convention 190 is a priority for Ireland.   

Ratification process and consultation

Ireland is committed to proceeding to ratification as quickly as possible, taking into account the need to ensure all necessary legislative and administrative requirements under the Convention are met. Ireland is a dualist State, Article 29.6 of the Constitution provides that international agreements have the force of law to the extent determined by the Oireachtas. It is essential, therefore, that the State is in a position to meet the obligations it assumes under the terms of an international agreement from the moment of its entry into force for Ireland.

The combination of existing legislation and codes of practice represents a set of measures aimed at combatting violence and harassment. Such measures conform to the Conventions main provisions, and it is not anticipated that supplementary legislation will be necessary for the ratification of this Convention. Further details on how Ireland meets the provisions of the Convention are set out in the table attached which compares the articles of the Convention with national laws and codes of practice. 

Further to consultations with relevant Government Departments and Offices no legal impediments to ratification have as yet been identified.

Purpose of the consultation process

This stakeholder consultation process is intended to give interested parties an opportunity to provide their views on the proposed ratification by Ireland of the Convention on Violence and Harassment, 2019 (No. 190).


Submissions on the proposed ratification of the Convention are requested by no later than close of business on Monday, 26 September 2022. Submissions should be no longer than 1500 words and can either be emailed to or sent in hard copy to:

EPSCO, ILO and Council of Europe Section,

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment,

Floor 2,

Earlsfort Centre,

Lower Hatch Street,

Dublin 2,

D02 PW01.

Further queries can also be made to

Responses to call for views

Responses may be made available on the website of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment. Any material contained in responses which respondents do not wish to be made public in this way should be clearly identified as confidential in the submission.

Respondents should also be aware that responses may be disclosed by the Department following a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2014. Any information that is regarded as commercially sensitive should be clearly identified and the reason for its sensitivity stated. In the event of a request under the Freedom of Information Act, the Department will consult with respondents about information identified as commercially sensitive before deciding on such a request.

Any personal information which you volunteer to the Department will be treated with the highest standards of security and confidentiality strictly in accordance with the Data Protection Acts 1988 to 2018.

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Topics: Workplace and Skills, ILO