The ILO is the only tripartite U.N. agency. Since 1919, it brings together governments, employers and workers representatives of member States to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all workers.
ILO’s work on violence and harassment against women is guided by the 1998 Declaration on Fundamental Rights and Principles at Work; the Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention (No. 111) and Recommendation (No. 111), 1958; the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29); the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No.182); the Migration for Employment Convention (Revised), 1949 (No. 97); the Migrant Workers (Supplementary Provisions) Convention, 1975 (No. 143); the Workers with Family Responsibilities Convention, 1981 (No.156), the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 (No. 169); the Maternity Protection Convention, 2000 (No.183); the Domestic Workers Convention (No. 189) and Recommendation (No. 201) , 2011; the Transition from the Informal to the Formal Economy Recommendation, 2015 (No. 204); and the Employment and Decent Work for Peace and Resilience Recommendation, 2017 (No. 205). The ILO's supervisory system ensures regular monitoring of the application of these Conventions in law and in practice, through the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations, formed by independent experts, and in the context of the tripartite Committee on the Application of Standards.
Furthermore, the International Labour Conference adopted, in June 2009, the Resolution concerning gender equality at the heart of decent work, which states that gender-based violence in the workplace should be prohibited. They further recommend that policies, programmes, legislation, and other measures, as appropriate, should be implemented to prevent it and that Governments should develop gender equality indicators which could include violence against women in the workplace.
Most recently, the ILO has embarked on a standard setting process on “Violence and harassment in the world of work”, which will be structured in a double discussion by the International Labour Conference. The first discussion held on June 2018 was based on two reports prepared by the Office (which set out the law and practice in 80 countries, address a questionnaire to constituents, and propose the content of a possible instrument or instruments). Having finalized the first discussion, which showed majority support for the adoption of a Convention supplemented by a Recommendation, the ILO will prepare two further reports to provide the proposed texts of the instruments, which will be the basis for the second discussion in June 2019.
ILO’s action concerning violence and harassment in the world of work includes sexual harassment, all forms of gender-related discrimination at work, forced labour and trafficking, and child labour. Devoting special attention to women, the ILO addresses violence against migrant workers, pregnant workers and workers with family responsibilities, domestic workers, many of whom are women, as well as indigenous and tribal women. It undertakes policy development, research, operational activities, awareness-raising activities and supervision of the application of the relevant International Labour Standards. The ILO’s approach to violence and harassment against women is embedded within a Decent Work framework and is based on preventing discrimination based on gender, exploitation and abuse through the promotion of gender-responsive, regulated and managed migration policies, bi-lateral and multilateral agreements, maternity protection and labour standards for migrant workers and workers with family responsibilities.
In the context of capacity building, the ILO provides technical support in the area of discrimination, violence and harassment in the world of work to its constituents in a number of countries. Most recently action on policy and legal advice, training and awareness raising has been undertaken in Bahrain, Bolivia, Brazil, Cambodia, Colombia, Kuwait, Jordan, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, occupied Palestinian territory, Peru, Senegal, Thailand and Viet Nam. The ILO Better Work Programme, in partnership with the International Finance Cooperation pays specific attention to preventing sexual harassment in the garment industry in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Haiti, Indonesia, Jordan, Nicaragua and Viet Nam. The ILO also contributes to several inter-agency mechanisms concerned with this issue and has launched its own internal anti-sexual harassment campaign.
Video: ILO. 2018. “Safe&Fair: Realizing women migrant workers' rights and opportunities in the ASEAN region”. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYaHms62BjM
Video Series (5 episodes): Ministry of Labour of Brazil and ILO. 2018. “Assédio Sexual no trabalho”. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_nGxBoVEeY&t=
Henry, C. and Adams, J. 2018. Spotlight on sexual violence and harassment in commercial agriculture: Lower and middle income countries (Geneva, Research Department, ILO)
ILO. 2018. The Threat of Physical and Psychosocial Violence and Harassment in Digitalized Work (Geneva, ILO)
Website: ILO. “Prevention of violence at work”. Available at: http://www.ilo.org/safework/areasofwork/workplace-health-promotion-and-well-being/WCMS_108511/lang--en/index.htm [18 July 2018].
Website: ILO. “The ILO Standard Setting Committee: violence and harassment in the world of work”. Available at: http://www.ilo.org/ilc/ILCSessions/107/committees/violence-harassment/lang--en/index.htm [28 May 2018]
ILO. 2018. Ending violence and harassment in the world of work, Report V(2), International Labour Conference, 107th Session (Geneva).
ILO. 2018. Ending violence and harassment against women and men in the world of work, Report V(1), International Labour Conference, 107th Session (Geneva).
Pillinger, J. 2017. Violence and harassment against women and men in the world of work. Trade union perspectives and action (Geneva, ILO)
Video: SCORE Peru. 2017. “The business impact of domestic violence and harassment”. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_ZOFmeO0lY&app=desktop
Ministry of Labour of Brazil, and ILO. 2017. Assédio Sexual no Trabalho. Preguntas e respostas. (Brasilia).
Video: ILO. 2017. “Formação professional de assistente de cozinha para travesties, mulheres e homens transexuais”. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlosaiQHnxw&feature=youtu.be
Video: ILO. 2017. “The future of gender equality at work”. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ft5kl-CQ9zI&index=16&list=PL52393B3C2D2785CC
ILO. 2016. Report of the Director-General: Fifth Supplementary Report - Outcome of the Meeting of Experts on Violence against Women and Men in the World of Work, GB.238/INS/17/5 (2016).
International Training Centre of the International Labour Organization (ITC–ILO) and Fair Wear Foundation. 2016. Gender-based violence in global supply chains: Resource kit. Available at: https://gbv.itcilo.org/
Website: ILO. “Violence and stress”. Available at: http://www.ilo.org/sector/activities/ topics/violence-and-stress/lang--en/index.htm [16 June 2016].
On-line game: Sexual harassment at the workplace (ITCILO, 2016). Available at: http://training.itcilo.org/delta/GENDER/story_html5.html
Lippel, K. 2016. Addressing Occupational Violence: An overview of conceptual and policy considerations viewed through a gender lens. Working Paper No. 5/2016 (Geneva, Gender, Equality and Diversity Branch, ILO)
Video: ILO. 2015. “No one should work this way. Protecting domestic workers from abuse”. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VV8FyOIa1o&index=26&list=PL52393B3C2D2785CC
Truskinovsky, Y. et al. 2014. Sexual harassment in garment factories: Firm structure, organizational culture and incentive systems, Better Work Discussion Paper Series No. 14 (Geneva, ILO).
ILO. 2006. Using Indonesian Law to Protect and Empower Indonesian Migrant Workers: Some Lessons from the Philippines, ILO project on Mobilising Action for the Protection of Domestic Workers from Forced Labour and Trafficking in Southeast Asia. (Jakarta)
Di Martino, V. Chappell, D. 2006. Violence at work (third edition) (ILO, 2006)
McCann, D. 2005. Sexual harassment at work: National and international responses, Conditions of Work and Employment Series No. 2 (Geneva, ILO).
ILO. 2004. Code of practice on workplace violence in services sectors and measures to combat this phenomenon (Geneva).
Rogers, K. and Chappell, D. , Preventing and responding to violence at work (ILO, 2003)
ILO et al. 2002. Framework guidelines for addressing workplace violence in the health sector (Geneva).
N. Haspels, Z. Mohamed Kasim, C. Thomas and D. McCann, Action against sexual harassment at work in Asia and the Pacific (ILO, 2001)
Hoel, H., Sparks, K., and Cooper, Cary L. 2001. The cost of violence/stress at work and the benefits of a violence/stress-free working environment (University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology and the International Labour Organization).
Di Martino, V. 2001. Guidance for the prevention of stress and violence at the workplace (Kuala Lumpur, ILO).
ILO’s International Migration Programme (MIGRANT) prepared a global policy-advice report on gender and migration for the International Conference on Gender, Migration and Development: Seizing Opportunities and Upholding Rights (ICGMD) that covered the issue of violence against women migrant workers. The conference took place in September 2008 and was organized with UNIFEM, UNICEF, Migrants Forum in Asia (MFA), and Migrant Rights International (MRI) and resulted in The Manila Call to Action and its Resolution: http://www.icgmd.info/docs/icgmd_manila_call_to_action.pdfHide
In June 2011, the International Labour Conference adopted the Convention No. 189 and Recommendation No. 201 on Decent Work for Domestic Workers. The new standards are a strong recognition of the economic and social value of domestic work and a call for action to address the existing exclusions of domestic workers from labour and social protection. Article 5 of Convention No. 189 calls for measures to ensure that domestic workers enjoy effective protection against all forms of abuse, harassment and violence.Hide
ILO’s approach to violence against migrant women is also based on the promotion of labour standards for migrant workers within a Decent Work framework. Important standards to specifically promote the protection and welfare of migrant workers, including women, are the Migration for Employment Convention (Revised) 1949 (No.97), Migrant Workers Supplementary Provisions Convention 1975, (N0.143) and the Private Employment Agencies Convention, 1997 (N0.181).Hide
A standard-setting item on “Violence against women and men in the world of work” is listed on the agenda of the ILO 107th Session (June 2018) of the International Labour Conference.
In June 2010, the International Labour Conference will hold the first round of discussions on a draft instrument on decent work for domestic workers, and in 2011 will discuss the standard(s) with a view to its adoption. A new standard on decent work for domestic workers will contribute to the effective abolition of child labour within domestic work and help to prevent and eliminate violence against domestic workers of any age.Hide
The ILO study project on protecting migrant workers and combating trafficking: Building an information and knowledge base for policy support on international migration in the Gulf Council States examines the living and working conditions of migrant workers in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) States, in which women domestic workers are a crucial concern. The project is based on a survey on the recruitment of migrant workers, their protection in employment including from all forms of violence, their income earning particulars, and their working and living conditions. It addresses issues concerning treatment at the hands of their employers and also with regard to channels through which they can address their grievances.Hide
Under the International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour, ILO has carried out analyses of the situation of girl child labour in agriculture, domestic work and in situations of sexual exploitation.Hide
The ILO Conditions of Work and Employment Programme (TRAVAIL) conducts research on violence, including violence against women, at work including on laws, workplace policies and other initiatives to prevent and respond to it.Hide
The ILO has supported the Ministry of Labour of Brazil to produce and disseminate training and information materials about sexual harassment at work, including a guide on responses to sexual harassment and a video series of five View More
The ILO has supported the Ministry of Labour of Brazil to produce and disseminate training and information materials about sexual harassment at work, including a guide on responses to sexual harassment and a video series of five episodes.Hide