Violence and harassment in the world of work

Message at the Consultative Forum on Violence and Harassment in the World of Work

By Mr Khalid Hassan, Director, ILO Country Office for the Philippines at the Consultative Forum on Violence and Harassment in the World of Work, Manila, Philippines, 12 April 2019

Statement | Manila, Philippines | 12 April 2019
  • Undersecretary Arellano, Executive Director Satumba, and officials of the Department of Labor and Employment;
  • Representatives from workers and employers organizations;
  • Our colleagues who will be sharing their expertise today from the Decent Work Team in Bangkok - Mr Coue, International Labour Standards Specialist, and Ms Simpson, Gender, Equality and Diversity Specialist, who will present through virtual media
  • Ladies and gentlemen, good morning!
This year, the ILO as the oldest UN specialized agency for the world of work celebrates its 100th anniversary. The Philippines was one of the 24 countries featured yesterday in the ILO 24-Hour Global Tour highlighting key issues, while charting the way for the future to adapt to challenges.

A major centrepiece of the ILO Centenary is the Global Commission on the Future of Work Report. The launch of the Commission’s report marked the official start of the ILO Centenary. The report proposed a human-centred agenda for the future of work, guided by a rights-based, normative mandate, in full respect of the tripartite character of the ILO.

The Commission’s report puts peoples and the work they do as the centre for crafting the agenda for economic and social policies and practices.

The recommendations focuses on three pillars of action:
  • increasing investment in people’s capabilities; 
  • increasing investment in the institutions of work; and
  • increasing investment in decent and sustainable work.
Within the context of these three pillars, the report came up with 10 recommendations, which included a transformative agenda for gender equality. One of the preconditions for gender equality is the elimination of violence and harassment in the world of work.

The 108th Centenary Session of the International Labour Conference will take place in June 2019. The ILC will be a key event in the ILO’s 100th Anniversary. New landmark standards to fight violence and harassment in the world of work will be part of the global agenda.

This leads me to the purpose of this consultation. I believe that the Philippines is preparing for the upcoming standards on violence and harassment, which generally aim to protect both women and men in any types of occupation, whether in formal or informal employment, public or private sector, urban or rural areas, migrant workers or indigenous peoples, particularly those vulnerable groups and groups in situations of vulnerability.

More importantly, women are affected on a significant scale by gender-based violence and harassment. A major challenge is to tackle the issue in the context faced by emerging challenges in the world of work, including the changes in the organization and production of work, among others.

The success of this agenda is a milestone in the history of standards setting as the ILO has never tackled violence and harassment in the world of work as a single subject.

The launch of the Commission’s report is just the beginning a journey. The Philippines is now tackling one of the issues covered by one of the 10 recommendations of the report of the Global Commission on the Future of Work.

I look forward to a fruitful discussion that will support the Philippine’s action not only in terms of its contribution to the standards setting but on the national level follow ups to realize the principles covered by the standards.

We hope that the discussion will bring about better understanding of the concepts and definition and scope of the upcoming standards.

While this activity is a forum for tripartite perspectives and country position on the upcoming standards, we hope that this forum can also pro-actively serve as venue on the way forward to the application of this new Convention and/or Recommendation based on national and international practices.

On this note, let me congratulate the Department of Labor and Employment for bringing together various social partners who have a stake in the upcoming and eventual adoption of the Convention.

Thank you!