GENEVA (May 28, 2018) – The global poverty-fighting organization CARE International is calling on governments, employers and workers to back a new International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention on “Ending violence and harassment in the world of work” as negotiations get underway today in Geneva at the International Labour Conference, the annual gathering of the ILO’s 187 member States.
The call is part of CARE’s global #ThisIsNotWorking campaign, which has garnered support from all over the world, with more than 120,000 people signing a letter calling for international standards to end violence and harassment in the workplace.
Within the next two weeks, the ILO, in its role as the UN agency setting standards for the world of work, will decide collectively whether to bring about the first-ever global treaty on violence and harassment in the workplace which could then be in place within a year.
CARE has welcomed the provisions of the draft ILO Convention and Recommendation that will form the basis for discussion.
“Violence and harassment in the workplace is a global issue. It needs a global response. More than one-third of the world's countries do not have any laws prohibiting sexual harassment at work and there is no international legal standard to specifically protect women at work from harassment and abuse. It’s time to put that right,” said Glen Tarman, Head of Global Advocacy at CARE International.
“The scope of the ILO Convention and Recommendation must reflect the needs of the women CARE supports so the most marginalized global citizens, including garment workers, agriculture workers, domestic workers and those living in extreme poverty have protections. We need governments, business and unions to support an ILO Convention – a legally binding treaty that can be taken forward in every country for women everywhere”.
Violence and harassment costs lives and economies. In Cambodia CARE found that 1 in 3 garment workers faced violence and abuse in the last 12 months.
CARE also found that the productivity cost of sexual harassment in the garment industry is estimated at USD 89 million per year.
A legally binding convention to end violence and harassment at work offers a golden opportunity to turn #MeToo and #Timesup into meaningful global change.
CARE is a leading humanitarian organisation fighting global poverty. CARE places special focus on working alongside poor women and girls because, equipped with the proper resources, they have the power to lift whole families and entire communities out of poverty. Last year, CARE worked in 94 countries and reached more than 80 million people around the world. To learn more, please visit www.care.org and www.care-international.org.
Emily Wight, Senior Press Officer (Programmes and Policy), CARE International UK +442070916063, [email protected]
Spokespersons are available upon request.