Violence, harassment at work have affected more than 1 in 5 people: UN report

Report shows violence and harassment in the workplace are most prevalent in the Americas, followed by Africa

Anadolu Agency December 05, 2022


More than one in five people (almost 23%) in employment have experienced violence and harassment at work, whether physical, psychological, or sexual, a new report said.

The report, the first of its kind, was carried out jointly by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Lloyd’s Register Foundation (LRF), and Gallup.

It showed that violence and harassment in the workplace were most prevalent in the Americas, followed by Africa.

“It’s painful to learn that people face violence and harassment not just once but multiple times in their working lives,” Manuela Tomei, ILO assistant director-general for governance, rights, and dialogue, said at a press conference.

“Psychological violence and harassment are the most prevalent across countries, and women are particularly exposed to sexual violence and harassment,” Tomei added.

She said the report, which does not give country breakdowns, tells us about the enormity of the task ahead to end violence and harassment in the world of work giving regional but not national analysis.

The report recommends a regular collection of robust data on violence and harassment at work, national, regional, and global levels.

It also examines factors that may prevent people from talking about their experiences, including shame, guilt, or a lack of trust in institutions or because such unacceptable behaviours are seen as “normal”.

The report found that only half of victims worldwide disclosed their experiences to someone else, and often only after they suffered more than one form of violence and harassment.

The most common reasons for non-disclosure were “waste of time” and “fear for their reputation”.

Globally, 17.9% of employed men and women said they experienced psychological violence and harassment in their working life, and 8.5% faced physical violence and harassment, with more men than women experiencing this.

Of respondents, 6.3% reported facing sexual violence and harassment, with women particularly exposed.

Those most likely to be affected by violence and harassment include youth, migrant workers, and wage and salaried women and men.

Young women were twice as likely as young men to have faced sexual violence and harassment, and migrant women were almost twice as likely as non-migrant women to report sexual violence and harassment.

The ILO-LRF-Gallup study was based on interviews conducted in 2021 with nearly 75,000 employed individuals aged 15 years or older in 121 countries and territories as part of the Lloyd’s Register Foundation World Risk Poll.


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