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 adopted the Violence and Harassment Convention No.190 and its supplementing Recommendation No.206. The process behind these instruments began in 2015, and – with the recent global outcry against violence and harassment – their adoption could not be more timely or relevant. Convention No. 190 and Recommendation No. 206 are the first international labour standards to provide framework to prevent, remedy and eliminate violence and harassment in the world of work, including gender-based violence and harassment. The Convention includes the specific recognition, for the first time in international law, of the right of everyone to a world of work free from violence and harassment, and sets out the obligation to respect, promote and realize this right.
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 includes preventing discrimination based on gender, exploitation and abuse through the promotion of gender-responsive, regulated and managed migration policies, bilateral 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 Corporation 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.
The ILO Guide on Preventing Discrimination, Exploitation and Abuse of Migrant Women Workers covers the full migration cycle, from pre-departure to reintegration in the country of origin, including a specific module on trafficking. The Guide has been used extensively to build the capacity of ILO constituents in protecting migrant women workers and preventing abusive situations. It is currently available in 10 languages. ILO through its International Migration Branch has specific technical cooperation activities on trafficking.Hide
Evidence from new studies in three countries on the impact of domestic violence in the workplace was presented by ILO during the 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). More information is availbable at: http://www.ilo.org/gender/Events/WCMS_208336/lang--en/index.htmHide
On 21 June 2019 in Geneva, the International Labour Conference adopted the Violence and Harassment in the World of Work Convention (No. 190) and its accompanying Recommendation (No. 206), which are the first-ever international standards on this View More
On 21 June 2019 in Geneva, the International Labour Conference adopted the Violence and Harassment in the World of Work Convention (No. 190) and its accompanying Recommendation (No. 206), which are the first-ever international standards on this topic. The Conference also adopted the ILO Centenary Declaration for the Future or Work, expressing a clear commitment to a world of work that is free from violence and harassment.Hide
The ILO has embarked on a process towards the possible adoption of international labour standards on violence and harassment in the world of work. This is pursued through the International Labour Conference Standard Setting Committee on View More
The ILO has embarked on a process towards the possible adoption of international labour standards on violence and harassment in the world of work. This is pursued through the International Labour Conference Standard Setting Committee on violence and harassment in the world of work, which is scheduled to meet on June 2018 and June 2019.Hide
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
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
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
1. The ILO report “Care work and care jobs for the future of work” gathers diverse data on the presence of violence and harassment in care work and acknowledges that, “on occasion, care workers experience violence and View More
1. The ILO report “Care work and care jobs for the future of work” gathers diverse data on the presence of violence and harassment in care work and acknowledges that, “on occasion, care workers experience violence and harassment” and that “health-care workers report some of the highest levels of violence compared to other industries or sectors”. See: ILO. 2018. Care Work and Care Jobs for the Future of Decent Work (Geneva).
2. A national questionnaire and a paper was developed in Egypt in early 2018 to better understand the dimension of violence at work. The paper is under finalization.