The Platform of independent United Nations and regional expert mechanisms on violence against women and women’s rights have released a statement regarding the upcoming International Labour Organization (ILO) instrument on violence and harassment in the world of work, and their concern at the possibility of eroding already accepted norms and commitments under international law and regional instruments on women’s rights. This includes recognizing and addressing gender-based violence and harassment against women in the world of work as a human rights violation.
These are protections that have been established against the backdrop of a global feminist movement that was launched decades ago and, since 1993, with the recognition of violence against women as a human rights violation have been acknowledged by governments as women’s human rights. Any new ILO instrument must be compliant with existing standards on violence against women, as expressed in international treaties and regional instruments that have already been adopted and ratified by a number of States engaged in the current negotiations.
A new instrument will strengthen the ability of States to prevent and address violence and harassment by public and private actors in the world of work. It will enable states, employers and unions, as well as workers in a variety of sectors, to work together to achieve this goal. As we, across the women’s rights and labor rights movements, demand that the #ILOendGBV, this recognition is necessary in order for women to be treated as human and achieve dignity at work and beyond.
We invite you to share this statement widely in the lead up to the negotiations for the upcoming ILO instrument on ending violence and harassment in the world of work, which will begin on June 10th at the 108th Session of the International Labour Conference, and encourage your representatives to #StandUp4HumanRights.