Occupational Safety and Health

ILO, University of Leicester launch research on violence and harassment in the digital economy

Press release | ILO HQ Geneva, Room XI | 05 February 2018
GENEVA (ACTRAV INFO)- The International Labour Organization’s Bureau for Workers’ Activities (ACTRAV) and the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom will launch a new research on psychosocial risks, violence and harassment that workers face in digitalized working environments.

Dr Phoebe Moore, Associate Professor of Political Economy and Technology at the University Of Leicester School Of Business, will present the findings of her research in an “Agora” setting from 11am to 12pm on Tuesday, February 6th at ILO headquarters in Geneva, Room XI. A larger audience will be able to join via Facebook live.

The new study highlights the ways in which new technologies are being used for management purposes in the workplace today as professional environment that comprises factories, streets but also homes. “This includes the ’gig economy’, automation practices and algorithmic management, people analytics, computerisation, wearable tracking. Overall, it’s about the use of big data and quantification to make selective, predictive and prescriptive decisions related to work, workers, and the workplace”, Phoebe Moore explains.

ACTRAV commissioned Dr Moore to carry out this research because of her recognized expertise in this field.

She added: “I’m honored to be the researcher who has been selected to address the question how these risks arise in the digitalized world of work. Violence and harassment unfortunately thrive when rights at work are often non existent.”

The paper is part of a research package prepared under the auspices of ACTRAV ahead of the first discussion of a proposed labour standard on “Ending violence and harassment towards women and men in the world of work” at the ILO’s International Labour Conference in June 2018.

“The study by Professor Moore articulates several decent work deficits that contribute to violence and harassment at work. The good news is that trade unions are becoming more and more active in addressing the issue and that the forthcoming ILO standard has the potential to be the milestone for labour law and collective agreements”, said Anna Biondi, Deputy-Director of ACTRAV.

The first discussion on the new standard will take place at the 107th session of the ILO International Labour Conference (28 May – 8 June 2018). The ILO, which is part of the United Nations, brings together governments, employers and workers of 187 member States, to set and supervise international labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes to promote Decent Work for all women and men.

For more information, contact:

Ms. Vera Guseva
Specialist in Workers'Activities (ACTRAV)
Tel:+41 22 799 6107