The International Labour Organization (ILO) has published a legal gap analysis in a bid to work on a legislative framework conducive of creating world of work free from violence and harassment, enabling women and men of all backgrounds and duties, irrespective of their employment status. The analysis was conducted in partnership with UN Women, the Jordanian National Commission for Women (JNCW), and the General Federation of Jordanian Trade Unions (GFJTU), and with support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and the Government of Norway.
According ILO Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019 (No. 190), which entered into force on June 25, 2021, violence and harassment in the world of work “refers to a range of unacceptable behaviours and practices, or threats thereof, whether a single occurrence or repeated, that aim at, result in, or are likely to result in physical, psychological, sexual or economic harm, and includes gender-based violence and harassment”. The convention, which Jordan has not ratified, defines gender-based violence and harassment" as "violence and harassment directed against persons on the basis of their sex or gender, or which disproportionately affects persons belonging to a certain sex or gender, and includes sexual harassment".
The legal gap analysis has found that the Jordanian labour law does not define, comprehensively prohibit, or address violence and harassment in the world of work. The labour law does not provide options for workers to address incidents of violence and harassment in the world of work without terminating employment, the analysis said. There is no centralised mechanism for collecting data, monitoring, and evaluation.
In 2017, the Jordanian National Commission for Women (JNCW) issued a study reporting that 35.8 per cent of female and male workers have experienced at least one form of workplace harassment. The majority of perpetrators of harassment against women were male co-workers (29.1 per cent).
The legal gap analysis has made many recommendations at the policy, international agreements, and legislative levels, in line with Convention 190. It called on the Government of Jordan to ratify the convention, develop a national complaints and grievances redress mechanism for violence and harassment in the world of work, and ensure that existing mechanisms are equipped and have the mandate to address cases of violence and harassment in the world of work.
Reem Aslan, Chief Technical Advisor for ILO Decent Work for Women Programme in Jordan said violence and harassment are still denied or ignored in countries around the world.
“In Jordan, however, state entities, in partnership with the ILO, are trying to build a database on the magnitude of violence and harassment, and to conduct research on their economic impacts on the country,” said Aslan, also a gender specialist.
“There is a need for protecting female and male victims of violence and harassment, and for developing efficient complaints and redress procedures with confidential support. This requires effective and clear legislation protecting the rights of workers and employers.”
The legal gap analysis was part of efforts by the ILO and its partners in Jordan to help create a world of word free of violence and harassment, in alignment with Convention 190. Under these efforts, the ILO, in partnership with the JNCW and the GFJTU, proposed in December 2020 a “National Strategy for the Elimination of Violence and Harassment in the World of Work”. Endorsed by more than 50 stakeholders representing workers, employers and civil society organisations, the strategy is based on the main elements of prevention, response, and protection, as well as integrated policy and accountability mechanisms.
The ILO also organised a workshop for private sector employer, seeking to enhance their engagement in creating a world of work free from violence and harassment through the use of effective and practical tools. The workshop was part of a private sector engagement plan, which provides employers with instruments and standards for decent work, women’s empowerment, violence and harassment elimination, and awareness raising.