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).
In 2001, ILO established a broad-based technical cooperation programme, the Special Action Programme to combat forced labour, to spearhead ILO activities against forced labour, including trafficking, irregular migration and bonded labour, aimed at addressing all aspects of forced labour. Under this programme, projects have been implemented in Ghana, Nigeria, Brazil, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, the Russian Federation, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Hong Kong SAR, and Nepal.Hide
ILO’s Labour Standards Department, in cooperation with ILO’s field offices, provides technical advice on policy and legislation, and conducts training on sexual harassment legislation and policies for constituents. Recently work has been undertaken in this area in the Asian region, in particular Malaysia, China and Pakistan, as well as in the context of the annual training at the ILO training centre in Turin on international Labour standards and gender equality. ILO also implements technical cooperation projects on child labour, migration, trafficking and forced labour in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.Hide
In November 2013, the second Gender Academy, supported by ILO, UN Women and the European Commission, was held at the International Training Centre of the International Labour Organization (ITC-ILO). The Academy examined policies and methods to respond to gender-based violence and risks at work. More information is available at: http://gender.itcilo.org/cms/ https://www.unwomen.org/lo/news/stories/2013/11/development-professionals-to-attend-ilo-gender-academy#sthash.4mn4Iy9X.dpuf In July 2013, ILO held a technical experts meeting for ILO constituents in Member States in the Pacific Islands sub-region on Gender and Decent Work which also addressed the topic of Ending violence against women in the Pacific. Other UN entities participated, including UN Women, UNDP, UNFPA, UNAIDS participated.Hide
The ILO launched on March 2018 an Office-wide campaign to combat all forms of sexual harassment and misconduct within the ILO.
A technical cooperation project, established by ILO, to address trafficking in human beings covering Albania, Moldova and the Ukraine provides social, economic and psychological support to victims of trafficking. IOM has one global assistance project targeting all developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America and over 120 counter-trafficking projects targeting over 100 countries in Africa, Asia, Central, Eastern and Western Europe, and Latin America. In 2005, IOM’s Working Group on Gender Issues at Headquarters supported and contributed funding for staffing a 24-hour hotline for victims of trafficking in South Africa.Hide
The ILO Better Work programme has continued developing tools to prevent and address sexual harassment in garment factories following surveys with workers which revealed this issue being of significant concern. A factory kit with different awareness raising material directed to management, supervisors and garment workers has been developed and disseminated and piloting of factory-level training in has been conducted in Jordan. More information is available at: http://www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/newsroom/features/WCMS_216898/lang--en/index.htmHide
An ILO programme, funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), on Economic Empowerment and HIV Vulnerability Reduction along Transport Corridors in Southern Africa, reported that acceptance attitudes towards violence, through project interventions, such as education on gender equality, had significantly decreased. The project has a strong component on violence against women and focuses on building women’s economic resilience, business skills and related capacities.Hide
On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the ILO, in collaboration with the UNICEF, WHO, UNFPA, UN Women and the NGOs IBFAN-GIFA, launched the “Maternity Protection Resource Package. From Inspiration to Reality for All”. The package provides information, inspiration and tools to help organizations and individuals everywhere to strengthen and extend maternity protection to women in all types of economic activity. An ILO feature story on the issue of maternity-related discrimination at work was also published, available at: http://www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/newsroom/features/WCMS_193975/lang--en/index.htmHide
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