Joint memorandum seeks to establish strategies to eliminate gender-based violence at work
WASHINGTON – To curb widespread gender-based violence and harassment in workplaces across all industries and occupations, the U.S. Department of Labor today announced that its Women’s Bureau has signed a memorandum of understanding with the International Labour Organization Office for the United States and Canada to create a world of work free of gender-based violence and harassment.
Under the agreement, the Women’s Bureau and the ILO will host a series of national and regional meetings where stakeholders will collaborate on strategies to help eliminate gender-based violence and harassment in the world of work. The department’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs will support the partnership by providing consultation on events and activities.
“For far too long, workers have been exposed to widespread harassment, rape, sexual assault and other forms of violence in their spaces of work. The Women’s Bureau and the International Labour Organization are determined to change this awful reality,” explained Women’s Bureau Director Wendy Chun-Hoon. “Together, the Women’s Bureau, the ILO and our partners at the Bureau of International Labor Affairs will host national and regional meetings centered on the voices of workers and survivors as we find new ways to help eliminate gender-based violence across industries and occupations.”
The partnership aims to end violence and harassment in the world of work throughout the U.S. by uplifting the principles and promising practices featured in the ILO Violence and Harassment Convention. Adopted in June 2019, Convention 190 is the first international treaty to recognize the right to a world of work free from violence and harassment and to provide a framework to prevent and address its occurrence. The U.S. National Plan to End Gender-Based Violence refers to the principles of Convention 190 and calls for addressing and preventing gender-based violence, including sexual harassment, in the world of work.
“This dynamic partnership with the Women’s Bureau has already borne fruit by bringing together workers, employers, local government leaders, unions and worker advocates who are addressing these issues every day and are keen to know examples of effective responses and good practices around the U.S. and other countries, and across all sectors in the world of work,” said Director Kevin Cassidy of the International Labour Organization Office for the United States and Canada.
“Convention 190’s rights-based approach, which covers all workers, regardless of their employment relationship, expands the range of action-oriented strategies available to our partners in the U.S. We look forward to increasing the implementation of C190 as we work with the Women’s Bureau and contribute to the objectives of the U.S. National Plan on this critical issue for building respectful workplaces everywhere,” Cassidy added.