ILO to draft treaty banning workplace harassment

ILO to draft treaty banning workplace harassment

Member states of the International Labour Organization have agreed to draft a treaty banning workplace abuse and harassment for possible adoption next year.

Delegates made the decision at the organization's annual International Labour Conference that ended on Friday in Geneva.

The move comes amid the spread of the #MeToo movement that is encouraging women around the world to stand up against sexual assault and misconduct.

ILO delegates have proposed banning workplace behavior that causes physical, mental and economic harm.

They have also noted that people could become both offenders and victims of harassment, citing the example of store customers and hospital patients.

Differences remain over the details of the planned treaty.

American and British employers who spoke at the conference said harassment should not be defined too broadly.

A representative of 54 African nations said the treaty should not ignore the varying situations among countries.

Japan's delegation is calling for a realistic treaty. They say an accord would be meaningless if governments do not ratify it.