On 10 June, the 108th International Labour Conference will commence in Geneva. There, a historic vote will take place on the first ever international standard on violence and harassment in the world of work. What does this mean for the work of FWF?
1. What is the ILC?
ILC stands for International Labour Conference. This is where the member states of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) meet. Over 5000 delegates from 187 countries will descend on Geneva, Switzerland from 10-21 June. Here, conventions are adopted, resolutions are passed and social and labour questions of importance to the entire world are discussed freely.
2. Why is there so much fuss about the new labour Convention?
At the end of the conference, the member states will vote on the first ever international standard on violence and harassment in the world of work, so this Convention is pretty unique and historic.
3. Why do we need this Convention?
violence remains one of the most tolerated violations of workers’ human rights.
According to statistics, 35% of women—818 million women globally—over the age
of 15 have experienced sexual or physical violence at home, in their
communities or in the workplace. Yet there is currently no international law
that sets a minimum standard to eradicate violence and harassment in the world
4. How does the vote relate to the work of FWF?
harassment against women and men is especially prevalent in the garment
industry, which employs a high number of women, often in lower-paid,
lower-power positions. In research conducted by FWF among garment workers, the most
frequent type of harassment mentioned was non-verbal, such as staring, whistling
and winking. Around one in ten of all interviewed women stated that they had
received sexually explicit remarks, had been physical assaulted (touching or
groping breasts or other body parts) or had been stalked.
5. How can this Convention help garment workers?
If a Convention
is passed, all ILO member states must submit the Convention to their national
authority for consideration of ratification. States who ratify the Convention will
need to ensure that their national legislation is in conformity with the
Convention’s minimum standards. This means that national lobbying and advocacy
activities will need to go well beyond the ILC 2019 to see the successful
implementation of this standard in the workplace.
FWF will -together with its partners – continue to work on preventing and ending violence and harassment in garment factories. Last week, FWF together with trade unions FNV and CNV Internationaal presented their joint manifesto to members of the Dutch parliament, encouraging the Dutch ILO delegation to strongly support the new ILO Convention to end violence and harassment in the world of work. Read more about FWF activities on this portal.