JAKARTA (Joint Press Release): Prevention of harassment in the workplace is both an international and national concern. It is internationally agreed that sexual harassment is a form of gender discrimination and is recognized as a violation of human rights. Sexual harassment at work can happen to any worker at any workplace—offices, factories, plantations and farms, small and large enterprises.
Sexual harassment also affects employees, employers and the society as a whole. Research has clearly shown that workplaces in which harassment is permitted tend to have sharply falling productivity. Sexual harassment leads to increased absenteeism, high turnover of staff and loss of valuable employees and to a poor public image of the company.
The Indonesian Employers’ Association (Apindo) has taken an initiative to develop a guideline to prevent and manage sexual harassment at the enterprise level. The guideline will be jointly launched by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and Apindo on Thursday, 8 March 2012 from 14.00 – 17.30pm at FX Lifestyle X’nter in Jakarta. The guideline will be officially launched by Sofyan Wanandi, Chair of Apindo and it is conducted in conjunction with the commemoration of the International Women’s Day.
Sofyan Wanandi, Chair of Apindo, said that harassment at the workplace is quite difficult to handle when no grievance procedure at the enterprise related to harassment has been established and understood by workers and employers and when the victims are hesitant to discuss their case. “Therefore, the guideline plays an important role in encouraging prevention and common action to avoid discriminative treatment at the enterprise and workplace levels. The guideline has also shown the seriousness of Apindo in tackling this issue by providing practical prevention and resolution to its members at the enterprise level,” he said.
The launch will be followed by an interactive discussion titled “Preventing Sexual Harassment at the Workplace”, as part of the effort to disseminate this guideline widely to the enterprises as well as to the public at large. The interactive discussion will present Nina Tursinah, Chair of Apindo, Irianto Simbolon, Director of Working Norms, Welfare and Discrimination Analyst of the Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration and Doddy Irawan, Manager of Chevron.
The discussion will be conducted in collaboration with SmartFM Network, a leading radio station, and will be live aired in 10 cities: Jakarta, Surabaya, Semarang, Medan, Palembang, Makassar, Manado, Balikpapan, Banjarmasin and Pekan Baru.
The launch of the guideline is aimed to promote a better workplace environment through the prevention of and management of sexual harassment at the workplace. It is necessary to encourage prevention and common action to avoid discriminative treatment at the workplace which also has adverse impacts on work productivity.
“The ILO greatly welcomes this initiative of Apindo to prevent and manage the sexual harassment at the workplace. As the main voice of employers on labour and social issues, Apindo plays an important role in creating a safe working environment for both workers and employers to ensure productivity, competitiveness and peacefulness of the business,” said Peter van Rooij, Country Director of the ILO in Indonesia.
The two principal types of sexual harassment in the workplace are ‘quid pro quo’ harassment and the creation of a hostile working environment. Quid pro quo (meaning ‘this for that’) harassment refers to a demand by a person in authority, such as supervisor, for sexual favours in order to obtain or maintain certain job benefits—a wage increase, promotion, training opportunity, a transfer or a job. It forces workers to choose between giving in to sexual demands or losing employment benefits. This type of sexual harassment is also referred to as ‘sexual blackmail.”
The second type of sexual harassment can poison the work environment and impact on the job performance of workers. In more recent years, however, new evidence has been emerging on the impact and harm caused by non-physical violence, often referred to as psychological violence/harassment, which includes bullying, mobbing, coercion, verbal abuse and sexual harassment.
For further information please contact:
Tel.: +6221 391 3112 ext. 135
Gita F. Lingga
Tel.: +6221 391 3112 ext. 115