HOT NEWS! Labour Law

ILO adopts treaty against workplace harassment

The International Labour Organization has adopted the first global convention to combat violence and harassment in the workplace.

The UN labor body was prompted by the worldwide “MeToo” movement against sexual harassment and began full-scale discussions on the convention last year.

Member countries, labor unions and management organizations cast votes at the ILO’s annual conference in Geneva on Friday.

Governments were given two votes, while labor and management groups had one vote each. The treaty was adopted with 439 votes in favor, 7 against and 30 abstentions.

The convention defines violence and harassment as behavior that could result in “physical, psychological, sexual or economic harm”.

It says the new standard will protect regular workers, interns, volunteers and job seekers and covers not just the workplace, but also business trips and commutes.

The ILO’s 187 member states will consider ratifying the conference. Those that do will be required to draw up domestic legislation in line with the treaty.

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Jessica van Zyl

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Rudy D. Maritz

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