To accelerate a socio-cultural change and to equip relevant authorities, as well as employers and workers and their respective organizations, with the information and tools necessary to prevent and eliminate violence and harassment within their respective areas of influence, Convention No. 190 calls on ratifying countries to provide guidance, training and resources, in accessible formats as appropriate (Art. 11(b)). Paragraph 23 of Recommendation No. 206 stresses the role that key actors could play in this regard, such as those in the education, justice and media sectors. In addition, Article 11(c) of the Convention also requires States to undertake initiatives such as awareness-raising campaigns. Awareness raising is an important component of a broader strategy to prevent and eliminate violence and harassment, but Convention No. 190 and Recommendation No. 206 remind us that it is not effective as a standalone strategy. Its full potential can only be achieved within the broader context of an inclusive, integrated and gender-responsive approach.
Box 35. Examples of recent awareness-raising and other initiatives
Argentina: The Office of Advice on Workplace Violence of the National Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security established an Observatory on Workplace Violence, which provides data on people who consult on and report cases of workplace violence in the metropolitan area of Buenos Aires. The Observatory generates information on consultations and complaints, develops guidance on prevention of violence and harassment in the world of work, as well as other tools and awareness-raising materials (Argentina, Chamber of Deputies of Entre Rios Province 2020).
Brazil: In 2017 the Federal Labour Prosecution Office in Brazil, in partnership with the ILO, developed guidance on preventing and tackling sexual harassment at work (Brazil, Public Ministry of Labour and ILO 2017).
Denmark: The social partners and the Danish Working Environment Authority have recently launched a campaign to prevent sexual harassment and unacceptable and offensive conduct at the workplace. Following the 2018 amendment of the Act on Equal Treatment of Men and Women, social partners and the Working Environment Authority have joined forces for the campaign “Where’s the limit?”, further bringing into focus the prevention of sexual harassment. The goal of the campaign is to prevent unacceptable and offensive conduct in the workplace and, by doing so, it aims at creating a working environment and workplaces free from sexual harassment. 45
Ecuador: The Council of the Judiciary has developed policies to prevent violence, mistreatment and/or sexual exploitation, and to ensure access to justice and protection for women victims of violence, irrespective of their migration status (Ecuador 2016).
Egypt: The National Council for Women, in partnership with the Ministry of Manpower, the Federation of Egyptian Industries and others, launched an awareness-raising video on the role of business owners and companies in providing safe workplaces for women (UN Women Arabic 2020).
Nepal: With the support of the ILO, the Government carried out a review of national laws and policies in addressing gender-based violence, which was validated by employers’ and workers’ organizations and led to an approved blueprint for future actions. As a follow-up, and with the support of the ILO, a Convention No. 190 Action Group has been established, whose members have been nominated by the Government and workers’ and employers’ organizations. The Action Group coordinates capacity-building activities for employers’ and workers’ organizations (ILO 2021a).
Paraguay: The Ministry of Women has developed a programme called “Empresa Segura” (Safe Enterprise) that aims to raise awareness and provide guidance on managing situations related to, among others, gender violence and a fair and safe work environment. The activities carried out to date include training on “conflict management and referral of cases”, which targets general managers and unit chiefs. The training is coordinated by specialized psychologists, and uses techniques to prevent and identify violence against women (Paraguay, n.d.).
Peru: The Ministry of Labour and Promotion of Employment has created training and awareness-raising materials for employers and workers on harassment at work (Peru 2019).
South Africa: In 2020, the Minerals Council South Africa launched a campaign to address sexual and gender-based violence and harassment in South Africa’s mines and in mining and labour-sending communities. The campaign encourages all member companies, others in the industry and residents of mining communities and labour-sending areas to take action against gender-based violence and abuse in their workplaces and communities, and where they observe any such incidents, not to stand aside but rather to report those incidents and take any other appropriate action (Minerals Council South Africa 2020).
45 As part of the campaign, a website has been set up to provide material regarding the subject. The material includes, for example, a campaign video and a leaflet with ten recommendations on how to prevent and handle sexual harassment. A tool for dialogue has also been developed, comprising a range of dialogue cards intended to facilitate discussions about and prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace (Norrbom Vinding 2019).