THE International Labor Organization (ILO) said it has created a new labor standard that aims to address violence and harassment in the workplace.

The ILO said Friday that the new Violence and Harassment Convention 2019 calls on member states around the world to enforce “zero tolerance” of any form of violence and harassment at work. This is the first new ILO Convention since 2011.

ILO Director-General Guy Ryder said in a statement Friday, “The new standards recognize the right of everyone to a world of work free from violence and harassment.”

The Violence and Harassment Convention 2019 was also adopted along with the Violence and Harassment Recommendation 2019.

The Convention covers violence and harassment that happens in the workplace; during workers’ breaks; in work-related trips; and even commuting to and from work. The Convention will not only tackle physical violence but also worker discrimination and labor law abuse.

“This Convention protects workers and other persons in the world of work, including employees as defined by national law and practice, as well as persons working irrespective of their contractual status, persons in training, including interns and apprentices, workers whose employment has been terminated, volunteers, jobseekers and job applicants, and individuals exercising the authority, duties or responsibilities of an employer,” according to the Convention.

The Convention calls on member-states to promote the rights of employees such as freedom to organize and to have collective bargaining. Other labor rights include the prevention of forced labor and child labor.

The ILO said in line with the new labor standard, laws and policies must assure inclusivity and equality in the labor force especially for women and for workers who are part of sectors or groups vulnerable to violence and discrimination.

The Convention will officially come into force 12 months after two member states have ratified it. ILO Conventions are legally binding while Recommendations are guidelines on how Conventions are to be implemented.

ILO Department on Conditions of Work and Equality (WORKQUALITY) Director Manuela Tomei said, “This is the first time that a Convention and Recommendation on violence and harassment in the world of work have been adopted. We now have an agreed definition of violence and harassment. We know what needs to be done to prevent and address it, and by whom. We hope these new standards will lead us into the future of work we want to see.” — Gillian M. Cortez