ILO in Jordan, private sector employers explore violence and harassment prevention

The International Labour Organization (ILO) in Jordan and a group of private sector employers have explored means to enhance their engagement in creating a world of work free from violence and harassment, in alignment with Convention 190.

Press release | Amman, Jordan | 22 November 2021
At a workshop, organised by the ILO and UN women in partnership with the Jordanian National Commission for Women (JNCW), and the General Federation of Jordanian Trade Unions (GFJTU), the participants examined how these employers can use effective and practical tools to address violence and harassment in the world of work. The one-day workshop discussed existing measures taken by these private sector companies to tackle violence and harassment in the world of work, as well as their needs from a legislative perspective.

According ILO Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019 (No. 190), which entered into force on June 25, 2021, violence and harassment in the world of work “refers to a range of unacceptable behaviours and practices, or threats thereof, whether a single occurrence or repeated, that aim at, result in, or are likely to result in physical, psychological, sexual or economic harm, and includes gender-based violence and harassment”. JNCW Secretary General, Salam Nims, cited a 2017 JNCW study as reporting that 35.8 per cent of female and male workers have experienced at least one form of workplace harassment. The majority of perpetrators of harassment against women were male co-workers (29.1%).

Advancing dialogue

The discussions were part of a private sector engagement plan agreed by the ILO and its national partners to encourage employers to implement effective policies on violence and harassment elimination and prevention. The action plan specifies to provide employers with instruments and standards for decent work , women’s empowerment , violence and harassment elimination, and awareness raising.

“The meeting sought to advance dialogue with employers who are keen on creating a work environment free from violence and harassment,” said Reem Aslan, ender technical specialist, ILO Jordan Decent Work for Women Programme. “We have drawn insights from employers’ experiences, and will work together on violence and harassment policy-setting, offering ILO technical assistance.”

These efforts build on a proposed “National Strategy for the Elimination of Violence and Harassment in the World of Work”, launched by the ILO and its partners, including the JNCW, and the GFJTU. Endorsed by more than 50 stakeholders representing workers, employers and civil society organisations (CSOs), the strategy is based on the main elements of prevention, response, and protection, as well as integrated policy and accountability mechanisms.
“Internal bylaws and policies should include deterrents to violence and harassment, as well as an effective complaints mechanism that ensures privacy and confidentiality,” said Harith Zu’bi of the GFJTU. “Also, measures for protecting violence and harassment victims, informants, and witnesses from perpetrator retaliation are needed.”

The Association of Banks in Jordan (ABJ), which hosted the workshop, called for “turning the weaknesses in the work environment into strengths.” “This helps employers create a safe work environment, enabling growth and ensuring worker retention,” said ABJ President Maher Mahrouq.

For more information, contact:
Reem Aslan
Chief Technical Advisor
Decent Work for Women Programme
International Labour Organization