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ILO: Better Work Indonesia Strives to End Workplace Harassment

A worker is offered better hours or more money in return for sexual favours; a manager pinches the bottom of a worker; a worker spreads malicious rumours about a fellow co-worker. These are all forms of harassment, and are common in one form or another in many Indonesian garment factories.

Press release | 08 March 2013

JAKARTA (ILO News): A worker is offered better hours or more money in return for sexual favours; a manager pinches the bottom of a worker; a worker spreads malicious rumours about a fellow co-worker. These are all forms of harassment, and are common in one form or another in many Indonesian garment factories.

In the month of March, ILO’s Better Work Indonesia programme is focusing on putting an end to workplace harassment, sexual harassment and bullying. A recent study conducted by Tufts University United States of America and University of Indonesia found that 85 percent of Better Work Indonesia beneficiaries are concerned about sexual harassment. A further 80 percent of respondents said they were concerned about verbal abuse, and 87 percent cited concerns about physical abuse.

As factory owners shift company policy to improve the lives of workers, there is still general confusion about what behaviour is acceptable and what is considered harassment. “The first step is understanding the definition [of harassment],” said Lee Hyun Joo, General Manager of PT. Dream Sentosa Indonesia, one of the factories partnered with Better Work Indonesia. “Sometimes we have trainers come into the factory, but afterwards if they ask what harassment is, only one percent can actually say what it is.”
A recent study found that 85 percent of Better Work Indonesia beneficiaries are concerned about sexual harassment.

Coinciding with International Women’s Day, Better Work Indonesia is releasing Guidelines for the Prevention of Workplace Harassment. This document defines different types of harassment, provides insight into the harmful effects of harassing behaviour, and offers ways companies can work towards prevention for a stronger, more efficient and happier workforce. Many of Better Work Indonesia’s partners have expressed interest in the guidelines and a willingness to adopt its recommendations.

In helping workers know their rights when it comes to harassment, Better Work Indonesia has released a two-part video series on You Tube that will dramatize and visualize different types of behaviour that are unacceptable.

Better Work is a unique collaboration programme between the ILO and International Finance Corporation (IFC). Better Work Indonesia (BWI) is funded by the Government of Australia through the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), the United States Department of Labor and the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Better Work Indonesia is part of the Better Work Global Programme and one of the country projects under the ILO,which aims to improve both labour standardscompliance and competitiveness in the apparel industry through advisory and training services tailored to the requirements of each factory.

The BWI Programme started in 2011 with the focus on the JABODETABEK area: Purwakarta, Subang and Karawang. Currently, there are 71 garment enterprises enrolled in the BWI Programme and more than 100 factories which are aware ofthe existence of the programme in Indonesia.

Presently, BWI is embarking on its second phase of programme implementation and expanding its operational coverage both in West Java and Central Java.

For further information, please contact:
Ms Josephine Imelda
Communication and Knowledge Management Officer, ILO Better Work Indonesia
Tel.: +6221 391 3112
Email
Website
Facebook: Better Work Indonesia
Twitter: @betterworkindo

Tags: social dialogue, international labour standards, labour standards

Regions and countries covered: Indonesia

Unit responsible: ILO Country Office for Indonesia

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