I welcome the adoption of Convention 190 Concerning the Elimination of Violence and Harassment in the World of Work and the accompanying Recommendation 206 at the 108th Session of the International Labour Conference (ILC) last June. The Irish tripartite delegation to the ILC played a very active role in the Standard Setting Committee in which the Convention and Recommendation were drawn up. It should be noted that conventions are legally binding international treaties that may be ratified by ILO member States and recommendations are non-binding guidelines.
I am aware that Convention 190 is the first ever international instrument on the very important issues of eliminating violence and harassment in the world of work. Ireland already has very strong protections in law to combat violence and harassment in the world of work and has recently ratified the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention)
The issue of ratification by Ireland of Convention 190 is being considered in the context of our standard approach to the ratification of international instruments. Ireland does not ratify international conventions until it has been determined that national law is in line with the provisions of the international instrument.
To this end, my officials have already commenced work on a detailed article-by-article examination of the extent to which domestic legislative provisions already provide for the rights and entitlements enunciated in each article, as well as the extent to which any legislative amendments will be required. Following consultation with Departments within whose remit elements of the Convention fall, and with the Social Partners, this examination will be sent to the Attorney General for their consideration. When the Attorney General has indicated that Ireland is in a position to ratify Convention 190 there will be a wider stakeholder consultation to seek views on the ratification of the Convention.
In view of the process outlined in the preceding paragraph, you will appreciate that it is not possible at this stage to put a timeframe on ratification of Convention 190. However, I can assure you of Ireland’s commitment to work towards being amongst the first ILO member States to ratify Convention 190.