ICT sector: towards a world of work free of violence and harassment

ICT sector: towards a world of work free of violence and harassment

To be able to work safely and in dignity, free from violence and harassment of any kind, is a fundamental human right which no worker must be denied.

ICTS workers are unfortunately affected by inequalities and discrimination in their own industry. Over the course of a two-day workshop, trade unionists and employers from across Europe’s ICTS sector came together. They shared their experiences and learned about initiatives at the European and global levels aiming to put an end to workplace violence and harassment. They also exchanged on anti-harassment and violence prevention policies in different countries and companies and to further discuss joint actions to eliminate negative practices by strengthening social dialogue and implementing appropriate preventive mechanisms.

According to the workshop participants, violence is perceived as an external problem, with gender-related violence being the most frequent aggression. Third-party violence especially occurs in contact centers, retail shops and other customer-facing areas. In this context, it is positive that many companies in the ICTS sector already have an overall anti-discrimination policy on violence and harassment in place, some even a stand-alone policy.

“We have to address this crucial topic and find solutions also in collective agreements, especially for the pressing issue of external violence” – said Daniel Hügli, UNI Europa ICTS President.

It has been almost 3 years since the ILO adopted, in June 2019, its Convention 190 on the Elimination of Violence and Harassment in the World of Work and yet, to date, only 19 countries around the world have ratified it – and only 6 of these in Europe.

The EU Cross-sectoral guidelines to eliminating violence and harassment at work for services sector should be based on an integrated, comprehensive and a gender-responsive approach strengthened by social dialogue. The ILO C190 ratification in all EU members states is imperative” said Amel Selma Djemail, UNI Europa Equal Opportunities Director.

The workshop ended with a brainstorming on what should be included in the cross-sector guidelines which will be developed throughout the course of the project and presented at its final conference next year. Key points that came out of the discussions were the importance of awareness raising and training for both managers and employees, as well as the need to identify threats early on. Social dialogue and collective bargaining are the tools to build workplace policies that should include a strong protection against discrimination, violence and harassment and provide provisions on prevention, implementation and monitoring mechanisms. The participants will follow up on today’s event and feed the discussion results into their work on a joint declaration on violence in the European sectoral social dialogue for telecom.

“ICTS unions play an important role in the fight against violence and harassment. Collecting good practice examples, raising awareness about the many faces of violence and addressing this in collective bargaining, we can help create a safer and more inclusive workplace for all,” underlined Birte Dedden, UNI Europa ICTS Director.

Inequality between women and men persists in the world of work in many forms, from career prospects and development opportunities to various terms and conditions. The aim of this UNI Europa Equal Opportunities cross-sector project is to contribute to ending violence and harassment at work and tackle domestic violence, as – with rising remote work – the home has become the new workplace.

Through this project, UNI Europa intends to: 

  • continue to campaign for the ratification of ILO Convention 190 and Recommendation 260; 
  • train and inform about the tools and mechanisms available to prevent violence and harassment in the world of work; 
  • encourage affiliates and employer organisations to use collective bargaining as a tool to reach these objectives; 
  • address the gender pay and pensions gap in order to tackle the issue of economic violence; 
  • discuss the content of the draft EU Pay Transparency Directive; 
  • encourage active participation in campaigns, activities, marches, and protests; 
  • combat all forms of social regression; 
  • support a multifaceted, joint social partner strategy, including the exchange of best practices to tackle exclusion and discrimination in the workplace as well as the development of participatory workplace cultures where inclusion and diversity are a priority; 
  • and develop Cross-sectoral EU guidelines for services workers on the prevention of violence and harassment at work.

For more information on the project and any presentations please contact: Amel Selma Djemail or Birte Dedden.

Meetings & Events




Commerce/Tourism EWC Network Meeting


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Commerce Steering Committee Meeting




Protected: UNI Europa FATIMA Project – 3rd Steering Group Meeting – 10 September 2024


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