Convention to STOP gender based violence in the world of work

Published by anna Date posted on November 29, 2016

Dear sisters,

Join the campaign for an International Labour Convention to STOP gender based violence in the world of workbutton_en_round_2_


Gender-based violence is a fundamental violation of human rights. It is a manifestation of gender-based discrimination and of unequal power relations between men and women, which it also perpetuates. Gender-based violence exists in all regions of the world: globally, 35% of women have experienced physical violence and 40-50% of women experience unwanted sexual advances, physical contact or other forms of sexual harassment at work. Gender-based violence disproportionately affects girls, women, and men who are viewed as not conforming to dominant perceptions of masculinity.
Irrespective of where the violence takes place, gender-based violence has the potential to limit a person’s participation in the economy and in society, and to negatively impact the workplace.


Trade unions are leading the call for a new binding ILO Instrument (i.e. a Convention plus a Recommendation) on Violence and Harassment against Women and Men in the World of Work. An International Standard would provide clear and comprehensive guidance on effective laws and workplace policies to address and prevent this serious global problem. Harassment, stalking, threats and abuse – all types of gender-based violence at work – are known to impede job performance and productivity, and can prevent individuals from participating in the labour force. An International Standard will contribute to developing safe workplace cultures, and effective mechanisms that empower and support victims.


Since November of 2012, a proposal to develop an ILO Standard on gender-based violence in the workplace has been pending before the ILO Governing Body.
On November 8th, the ILO Governing Body:
(a) requested the Office to prepare the first discussion of possible instruments on violence and harassment against women and men in the world of work by the Conference at its 107th Session (2018) taking into account the guidance provided in the Conclusions of the Meeting of Experts on Violence against Women and Men in the World of Work (Geneva, 3–6 October 2016) and further guidance given by the Governing Body;


The next step in the process is that the ILO will circulate a Law and Practice Report, and a questionnaire on an ILO instrument to address Violence and Harassment in the World of Work in March-April 2017. It is expected that the questionnaire will ask governments to give their views on what form the ILO instrument should take – i.e. whether it should be a Convention, supplemented by a Recommendation; or a stand-alone Recommendation.


is the time for your union to enter into dialogue with the key ministries that are likely to advise the government on this issue (e.g. the ministries for labour, gender, health and education).

Your union must explain three key issues to the government in relation to the proposal for a binding ILO Standard on Violence and Harassment against Women and Men in the World of Work:
1. It is crucial to respond to the ILO questionnaire by calling for a Convention plus a Recommendation (which provides guidance on implementation), so that it will be a binding ILO Standard.
2. There needs to be a particular focus on gender-based violence within the Standard, since women are disproportionately affected by violence (in the world of work and beyond).
3. The definition of ‘the world of work’ must be broad, and not simply limited to the physical work place. It should include transport to and from work, for example, and spaces or places where work-related training or social events take place etc.

Let’s work together for zero tolerance. Join the GBV campaign and stand with us in our call for an ILO Convention to stop violence and harassment in the world of work.

See what you can do by visiting:
· ITUC Statement
· ITUC GBV campaign webpage
· Campaign briefing tool

Share your campaign updates and actions here
·–en/index.htm – the Bureau for Workers’ Activities at the ILO (ACTRAV) is due to publish a report containing case studies and evidence of where and how violence in the world of work manifests in different sectors across the world (expected in December 2016).

Sign up to ITUC’s GBV Facebook page
Or contact us:

Carmen Smenjaud
Equality Department
ITUC International Trade Union Confederation
CSI Confédération syndicale internationale
CSI Confederación Sindical Internacional
IGB Internationaler Gewerkschaftsbund

Boulevard du Roi Albert II 5, B 1, BE-1210 Brussels, Belgium
tel (direct): +32 (0)2 224 0328


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