Another measure that ratifying States should require employers to take is providing workers and other persons concerned with information and training, in accessible formats as appropriate, on identified hazards and risks of violence and harassment and the associated prevention and protection measures, including on respective rights and responsibilities (Convention No. 190, Art. 9(d)). Providing information and training can contribute to a workplace culture conductive towards reducing the risk of violence and harassment. It also helps ensure that when violence or harassment does occur, workers know how to report it and which resources to access.
Developing effective approaches and methodologies for training as a means for preventing violence and harassment is essential. Recent practice pays attention to enhancing dexterity in awareness skills and conflict management, or to challenging harmful social norms that have an impact in the world of work. Methodologies aimed at promoting workplace civility, equality and respect, bystander intervention, identifying unconscious bias, increasing emotional intelligence, and promoting more effective communication and supervisory skills, have all shown to be promising practices (McCann 2018). 32
Box 22. Recent provisions and initiatives on workplace violence and harassment preventive training
Italy: According to paragraph 3-bis of the Code of Equal Opportunities, as amended in 2018, employers are required, under article 2087 of the Civil Code, to ensure working conditions that guarantee the physical and emotional integrity and dignity of workers, and also to agree with trade unions on informative and training initiatives aimed at preventing sexual harassment at work.
United States: An increasing number of US states and cities have passed statutes requiring sexual harassment training, and other federal and state laws, regulations and court decisions have made it clear that employers should provide anti-harassment training to all employees in all states. California also requires employers to provide anti-harassment training in both English and Spanish. New York City adopted the 2018 Stop Sexual Harassment Act No. 96, which requires all employers with 15 or more employees to provide sexual harassment training annually for all employees, interns, independent contractors and freelancers. The city government has created a web site that provides the necessary training free of charge (New York City, n.d.).
Box 23. Workplace sexual harassment preventive training in the global garment industry: Experiences from the ILO–IFC Better Work Programme
Since 2012, the ILO–IFC Better Work programme has provided technical assistance and capacity building on improving working conditions in the garment industry, including by tackling sexual harassment and promoting equality and non-discrimination. 1 Better Work’s evidence and experience shows that sexual harassment can be reduced by:
establishing anti-sexual harassment policy, setting up internal grievance mechanisms and establishing referral procedures to the relevant national authorities;
aligning supervisors’ and workers’ pay incentives, for example, by avoiding high production quotas for workers but salary pay for supervisors;
building capacity of managers, line supervisors and workers to prevent and respond to reports of sexual harassment through culturally sensitive training;
enhancing communication and supervisory skills though training; and
tackling organizational tolerance of sexual harassment through factory-wide awareness raising.
1 For more information, see the Better Work website at https://betterwork.org/. Source: Brown, Dehejia, and Robertson 2018; Babbit, Brown, and Antolin 2020; Brown and Lin 2014; Truskinovsky, Rubin, and Brown 2014.
This approach has proven to be effective:
Cambodia: As a result of ILO–IFC Better Work services, workers’ reported their exposure to sexual harassment falling by nearly one response category on a four- point scale between 2015 and 2018.
Jordan: As a result of ILO–IFC Better Work awareness raising and specialized training, the probability that workers are concerned with sexual harassment in the factory decreased by 18 percentage point over the past six years.
32 For instance, programmes aiming at altering community norms and empowering bystanders to intervene to stop assault and harassment have produced good results. Bystander intervention training, for example, has been linked to behavioural and attitudinal changes, as well as a reduction in rates of assault on college campuses and in the US military (Hayes, Kaylor, and Oltman 2020; Danna et al. 2020; Mishra and Davison 2020).