Violence and Harassment at Work

Violence and Harassment against Women and Men in the World of Work-Trade Union Perspective and Action

Violence against women and men in the world of work is an abuse of power that affects the most marginalised workers. Women are disproportionately affected where unequal power relations, low pay, non-standard working conditions and other workplace abuses expose them to violence in the world of work. This report draws on the work of Global Union Federations and 35 national case studies from different sectors and countries across the world to show that through collective agreements, workplace policies and negotiations, campaigns and awareness raising, trade unions have taken constructive steps to tackle violence in the world of work. A key objective of the report is to promote a systematic approach to prevention and elimination of violence and harassment at work and to inform trade unions in building a strong position for the development of a standard-setting item at the International Labour Conference in 2018.

The report addresses the devastating impact of violence and harassment against women and men in the world of work, the vulnerabilities faced by women workers in non-standard forms of employment, and informal and casualised work, and workers who are affected by discrimination and lack of decent work, and who are at risk of exploitation and trafficking. It highlights the need for national and workplace measures to take account multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination, and to address violence and harassment against women and men at work through collective agreements and workplace policies, and in initiatives on safety and health at work and wellbeing at work. Recommendations in the report include the need for a strong gender-perspective; measures to address the growth of non-standard forms of work and its consequences; a strong legal framework, including the right to collective bargaining and freedom of association; measures to tackle the causes of violence at work including third party violence against workers in services sectors and in the health and transport; initiatives to recongise and prevent domestic violence at work; and awareness raising to increase the understanding and visibility of violence against women and men in the world of work.