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Statement on the Adoption of Report of Standard Setting Committee: Violence and Harassment in the World of Work

- the 107th Session of International Labour Conference -

25 June 2018
Japanese Trade Union Confederation (RENGO)
Yasunobu AIHARA, General Secretary
  1. Huge progress towards adoption of Convention, and expectation for the development of domestic legislation

    On June 8, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) adopted the report of Standard Setting Committee on the “Violence and harassment in the world of work” which concludes that it should adopt a Convention supplemented by a Recommendation as new international labour standards at the 107th session of International Labour Conference in Geneva, Switzerland.
    As the eradication of harassment is being the global common issue with the “#MeToo Movement” spreading all over the world including Japan, we evaluate this is a big step forward for the adoption of Convention at next ILC, and also expect this would guide the development of domestic legislation.

  2. The adopted report includes definitions of harassment and workers, and prohibitions.

    The discussions were made based on the proposed conclusions on the basis of the ILO survey and expert meeting report in 2016, and opinion hearing of tripartite constituents of each member state in 2017. The adopted report concludes that “form of the instruments” should be a Convention supplemented by a Recommendation. And it defines “violence and harassment” as unacceptable behaviours and practices result in physical, psychological, sexual or economic harm and covers persons working irrespective of their contractual status as “worker”, and third parties such as clients and customers as “victims and perpetrators”. The report also concludes that each member state should adopt national laws and regulations to prohibit violence and harassment in the world of work.

  3. We evaluate inclusive content but regret LGBT and others are not clearly included in the content of a Convention.

    Workers group including RENGO supported the proposed conclusions which properly includes necessary content, but took a flexible stance in order to obtain more support from government group. As a result, inclusive content was confirmed which includes the definition of harassment and worker. We evaluate this result. Also, we expect that this conclusion, which includes the harassment prohibition provision, would lead progress for domestic legislation in Japan. On the other hand, it is greatly regrettable that the list of vulnerable groups to harassment, including LGBT, has been deleted from the “content of a Convention”.

  4. We need a Convention and develop domestic legislation for eradication of all form of harassment.

    In the next ILC, the ILO will make a decision whether adopt Convention or not, with two thirds favor, based on the draft modified with the result of opinion hearing of tripartite constituents of each member state. We, RENGO, strengthen our effort towards eradication of all forms of harassment, seeking the development of domestic legislation for the adoption and ratification of ILO Convention, cooperating with ITUC through the campaigns such as “STOP! Gender-based violence in the world of work”.