The first international treaty on violence and harassment in the world of work will come into force tomorrow - two years after it was adopted by the International Labour Organisation (ILO)'s International Labour Conference (ILC).

To date, six countries have ratified the Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019 (No 190) - Argentina, Ecuador, Fiji, Namibia, Somalia and Uruguay. Ratifying countries are legally bound by the provisions of the convention a year after ratification.

Together with recommendation number 206, Convention 190 recognises the right of everyone to a world of work free from violence and harassment and provides a common framework for action.

It provides the first international definition of violence and harassment in the world of work, including gender-based violence and harassment.

Violence and harassment at work takes a range of forms and leads to physical, psychological, sexual and economic harm. Since adoption of the convention, COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the issue, with many forms of work-related violence and harassment being reported across countries since the outbreak began, particularly against women and vulnerable groups.

To mark its entering into force, the ILO will launch a global campaign to promote its ratification and implementation.

The campaign aims to explain in simple terms what the convention is, the issues it covers and how it seeks to address violence and harassment in the world of work.

"A better future of work is free of violence and harassment," said Guy Ryder, the ILO director-general in his message to launch the global campaign.

"Convention 190 calls on all ILO member states to eradicate violence and harassment in all its forms from the world of work. I urge countries to ratify the convention and help build, together with employers and workers and their organisations, a dignified, safe and healthy working life for all."

The global campaign will be launched during the ILO Action Week on Convention 190, which started on June 21 and is taking place till June 25.

The action week calls for renewed commitment from countries to ratify and implement the convention.

Following the action week, the ILO will launch a guide aimed at helping constituents and other stakeholders promote and implement the convention and recommendation.

The guide covers core principles and measures that countries can take to prevent, address and eliminate violence and harassment in the world of work, including examples of national laws, regulations and policies.

A version of this article appears in the print on June 25 2021, of The Himalayan Times.