A Strong ILO Convention on Gender-based Violence is urgently needed

Gender based violence logo 25 november ©CanStockPhoto rosselladegradi

(23 November 2018) On the UN’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, which takes place on 25 November every year, EPSU supports and joins the call made from the Public Service International (PSI), the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) for a strong and inclusive ILO Convention on gender-based violence.

EPSU urges governments and employers to back a strong and inclusive text, in order to ensure that all women working in public and private sectors can be protected from violence and harassment at the workplace. Violence affects millions of women and an ILO Convention, adopted by the EU and national governments could introduce standards, recognize rights and put in place sanctions, changing the lives of many. The ILO Convention would strengthen the voice of workers across Europe that stand up against violence and negotiate collective agreements against gender-based violence.  

In 2010, EPSU signed multi-sectoral guidelines to tackle third-party violence and harassment related to work.  Studies have shown that up to 23% of all workers have been subjected to third-party violence[1].  This figure rises to 42% when only workers that have direct contact with the public are surveyed.  As women tend to work in sectors that have the most contact with the public, women are often more confronted with third-party violence than men.

Next year will mark the centenary of the ILO.  EPSU supports and joins the PSI campaign for an ILO Convention to stop gender-based violence to be adopted in 2019, to send, once and for all, the message that violence is not part of the job.


[1] All numbers are taken from EU-OSHA (2010): Workplace violence and harassment: a European Picture, Luxembourg, p. 51-52. https://osha.europa.eu/en/publications/reports/violence-harassment-TERO09010ENC