Guterres hails historic Convention banning violence and harassment at work

UN Photo/Jean Marc Ferre The UN Secretary-General António Guterres speaks during the 108th Session of the International Labour Conference on 21 June 2019.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


A landmark international agreement banning violence and harassment in the workplace has been applauded by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, after it was adopted on Friday at the International Labour Organization’s Centenary Conference in Geneva.

In his speech to delegates in the Swiss city, Mr. Guterres congratulated Member States for “building upon a legacy of achievement, guided by that age-old vision of social justice through social dialogue and international cooperation”.

The Convention passed with 439 votes in favour, with seven against and 30 abstentions, after a ballot involving representatives of governments, employers and workers, in line with ILO’s tripartite structure.

It is the first new Convention – a legally binding international instrument – agreed by the International Labour Conference since 2011, when the Domestic Workers Convention, was adopted.

According to the new labour standard, violence and harassment at work “constitute a human rights violation or abuse”.

Defined as behaviour that is likely to lead to “physical, psychological, sexual or economic harm”, violence and harassment are also regarded as “a threat to equal opportunities” which are “unacceptable and incompatible with decent work”.

In signing the Convention, Member States have a responsibility to promote a “general environment of zero tolerance”, while also protecting trainees, interns, volunteers, jobseekers and employees “irrespective of their contractual status”.

This includes some 2.5 billion people in the informal work sector, whose collective bargaining power should be utilized to promote workers’ rights, ILO said this week.

For ILO, the Convention reflects the organization’s belief that labour is not a commodity and that people’s wellbeing – and peace – depends on respect.

“Without respect, there is no dignity at work, and, without dignity, there is no social justice,” said Manuela Tomei, Director of the ILO’s Workquality Department. “We now have an agreed definition of violence and harassment; we know what needs to be done to prevent and address it, and by whom. We hope these new standards will lead us into the future of work we want to see.”

Protections must become a reality: Ryder

ILO Director-General Guy Ryder, meanwhile, highlighted that the “next step is to put these protections into practice, so that we create a better, safer, decent, working environment for women and men”.

In his speech at the ILO Conference, Mr. Guterres also welcomed its Centenary Declaration, which he said marked “an historic opportunity to open a door to a brighter future” for people around the world.

“The Centenary Declaration is much more than a statement of wishes or intent,” he added. “It proposes a shift in the paradigm of how we look at development. The wellbeing of people must be at the centre of economic and social policies”.

Mission statements like these were crucial, the UN chief insisted, warning that globalization and climate change had left those on the margins of society “paying the highest price”.

He added: “More than ever, multilateralism is under fire… And everywhere, we see deficits of trust and a surplus of fear-mongering. You could call it an age of disillusion. The most effective way to rebuild trust is by listening and by delivering. The International Labour Organisation plays a central role for a simple reason: Your agenda is at the centre of people’s concerns.”

Describing the ILO as being “ahead of its time” for its tripartite governing structure, Mr. Guterres insisted that new mechanisms for cooperation and governance had to be reimagined in future, to cope with current challenges.

Amid unprecedented change encompassing climate shocks, demographic, technological and societal transformation, the UN Secretary-General insisted that all of these things “profoundly affected” workers everywhere.

And while these changes offered opportunities, they could also generate “fear and anxiety”, he warned.

“As we look ahead, we know new technologies – especially artificial intelligence – will inevitably lead to massive destruction of jobs and a massive creation of new jobs,” he said, calling for a “massive” investment in education to ensure lifelong learning in a world where the concept of “work” itself is evolving.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

We could be sleepwalking into a new crisis. How should the business world prepare?

Much more than a ‘lifeline’ for millions of households, remittances can spur global growth, says UN agency

UN rights chief denounces Burundi for ‘belligerent and defamatory’ attack on inquiry team

Pedal power makes ‘positive impact on climate’, urges UN on World Bicycle Day

‘Provocative actions and inflammatory rhetoric’ destabilizing Middle East, warns top UN official

Blockchain can change the face of renewable energy in Africa. Here’s how

EU Budget 2019: no deal before the end of the conciliation period

EU makes key TTIP document public as protests get louder

Secretary-General repeats call for support to Lake Chad countries after latest Boko Haram attack

UN committed ‘to support the Libyan people’ as Guterres departs ‘with deep concern and a heavy heart’

MEPs agree on future regional and cohesion funding

A Year in China

How to build a paradise for women. A lesson from Iceland

Ahead of street protests, UN rights chief urges Guatemalan Government to respect democratic freedoms

A day in the life of a refugee: the role of nations and citizens of the world

Mass-graves found of at least 535 killed during ‘organized and planned’ inter-communal attacks in western DR Congo

Your morning cup of coffee contains 140 litres of water

Security Council should ‘nurture’ Colombian consensus against return to violence, top UN official urges

Why the way of loving closes doors of health?

Businesses can lead a revolution in disability inclusion

EU rewards organisations that make eco-innovation pay

Global Citizen-Volunteer Internships

Assembly of European Regions @ European Business Summit 2014: Made in Europe – Made of Regions

The EU accuses Russia of bullying Ukraine to change sides

The world has made spectacular progress in every measure of well-being. So why does almost no one know about it?

Why EU’s working and unemployed millions remain uncertain or even desperate about their future

Feeding families remains complex task in war-torn Syria – UN relief agency

Greece lost a month that cannot be found neither in “mini Summits” nor in Berlin

Terrorist content online should be removed within one hour, says EP

African cities will double in population by 2050. Here are 4 ways to make sure they thrive

Yemen: ‘No justification for this carnage,’ says UNICEF chief, as children in need now outnumber population of Switzerland

Advancing multilateralism goes ‘hand-in-hand’ with work of the UN

EU agrees on Ukraine – Georgia visa-free travel amid veto risks and populist fears

Germany is the world’s most innovative economy

Ηealth’s foundation is falling apart: what can we do about it?

Franchise India 2016, returns in 14th year 

Eurogroup president swallows statement on savings confiscation

Winter 2019 Economic Forecast: growth moderates amid global uncertainties

Online shopping across the EU to be easier from 3 December

Increasingly under attack, women human rights defenders need better back up

Apparently the EU Digital Single Market passes necessarily from China’s Digital Silk Road

Chart of the day: These countries have the largest carbon footprints

Further reforms will move Slovakia toward a more innovative and inclusive society

‘From farm to plate’, first-ever World Food Safety Day demonstrates the need to take unsafe food off the menu

‘Ground-breaking innovation’ needed in cities, where battle for sustainable development will be won or lost, says UN agency chief

The great challenge of the 21st century is learning to consume less. This is how we can do it

EP leaders call for negotiations on upgraded Transparency Register to continue

Medical workforce migration in Europe – Is it really a problem?

World ‘not yet on track’ to ensure children a better future: UN rights chief

How storytelling can be a force for social change

Manipulating privacy and reaping the benefits of technology

A hot autumn after a cool summer for Europe

Don’t underestimate the power of the fintech revolution

Silicon Valley can do more to achieve the #GlobalGoals

UN chief praises Africa for keeping ‘hearts and borders open’ in refugee crisis

Cyclone Fani hits India, UN moves to protect vulnerable refugees in Bangladesh

Court of Auditors: EU budget money is there to be spent not to create value

5 things to know about African migration

Back to school: Schoolchildren to receive milk, fruits and vegetables at school thanks to EU programme

Illegal fishing: EU lifts Taiwan’s yellow card following reforms

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s