Garment factory workers wear face masks as they walk out at the end of their work shift near Phnom Penh, Cambodia, March 11, 2021. (HENG SINITH / AP)
GENEVA – Almost 23 percent of people in employment worldwide have experienced violence and harassment at work, whether physical, psychological or sexual, according to a recent survey conducted by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and its partners.
The survey, first of its kind and published on Monday, found that only half of victims worldwide had disclosed their experiences to someone else, and often only after they had suffered more than one form of violence and harassment.
Globally, 17.9 percent of employed men and women said they had experienced psychological violence and harassment in their working life, and 8.5 percent had faced physical violence and harassment, with more men than women experiencing this
The most common reasons given for non-disclosure were "waste of time" and "fear for their reputation," the survey found, adding that women were more likely to share their experiences than men (60.7 percent compared to 50.1 percent).
Globally, 17.9 percent of employed men and women said they had experienced psychological violence and harassment in their working life, and 8.5 percent had faced physical violence and harassment, with more men than women experiencing this.
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According to the survey, 6.3 percent of the respondents reported facing sexual violence and harassment, with women being particularly exposed.
The groups that the survey found most likely to be affected by different types of violence and harassment included youth, migrant workers, 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.
More than three out of five victims said they had experienced violence and harassment at work multiple times, and for the majority, the most recent incident took place within the last five years.
The ILO recommends that countries extend and update mechanisms to effectively prevent and manage violence and harassment in the world of work, increase awareness in this regard, and at the same time enhance the capacity of institutions at all levels to deliver effective prevention, remediation and support, to build people's trust in justice and ensure victims are supported.
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The ILO survey is based on interviews conducted in 2021 with nearly 75,000 employed individuals aged 15 years or older in 121 countries and territories.