Press Release: UNA NZ Report Progresses New Zealand’s Journey to Ratification of ILO Convention 190 and elimination of workplace harassment

1 March 2022



This press release accompanies a UNA NZ Report and Union led Campaign seeking to raise awareness for, and ultimately achieve, the ratification of, ILO Convention 190 in New Zealand. Whilst the processes involved in ratification can be strenuous, it is inarguable that the Convention 190 movement facilitates discussion towards a more progressive labour sector - one which addresses the real drivers of violence and harassment in the world of work.


In June 2019, the International Labour Organization (ILO) hosted a centenary conference in Geneva, approximately 6,300 delegates representing governments, employers and workers from the member states attended. On the agenda was a vote for the adoption of Convention 190; a comprehensive initiative tackling the issue of violence and harassment in the world of work. With a clear 439 out of 476 votes going in favour of the standard, the event brought into force the first international agreement recognising ‘violence and harassment’ as a broad spectrum of behaviours, that must be eradicated by targeting the driving influences behind them. 


Despite its progressive and beneficial aspirations, New Zealand is yet to ratify Convention 190. This is somewhat surprising given our previous support for ILO Convention 111 (Discrimination in Respect of Employment and Occupation) and the gaps in pre-existing legislative frameworks that Convention 190 can address to improve national labour welfare. Not only would this ratification have profound effects for the welfare and productivity of the national workforce; it would also signal to other Member states that New Zealand wants to continue to be a leader of labour reform and wellbeing.


The United Nations Association of New Zealand (UNA NZ) has recently completed a three-part report explaining first, Convention 190 and the obligations it creates, second, how the Convention may take shape in New Zealand’s working and legislative environment and third, the wider international ramifications the Convention has.


This report will contribute to a wider campaign seeking to raise awareness for Convention 190 that will be driven by various union and human rights organisations. Beginning with a petition to gather support for Convention 190, the campaign will aim to lobby with real-life experience and storytelling that will educate employers and employees alike of the consequences of work-related violence and harassment. This will work alongside contributions to MBIE policy that reflect a realistic implementation strategy for Convention 190 in New Zealand.


It is integral that every working person in New Zealand not only understands their rights and responsibilities in the workplace, but promotes a working culture that is intolerant of violence and harassment towards others. The distribution of the UNA NZ Report constitutes one part of a campaign that requires everyone to stand up for labour welfare and a New Zealand workforce that prioritises safe working conditions for all.

You can read the report by visiting our website: 

For more information about the campaign petition, please contact Rachel at [email protected]. For any further information or questions please contact [email protected]

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