More than one in five people in employment worldwide have experienced some form of workplace harassment or violence, according to a survey released by the United Nations.
“Violence and harassment at work is a widespread phenomenon around the world,” the U.N.’s International Labour Organization said following the ILO’s joint study with the safety charity Lloyd’s Register Foundation and pollsters Gallup.
The survey was a first attempt to produce a global overview of the magnitude and frequency of the problem, and the barriers that prevent people from talking about it.
It found that 22.8 percent – which would amount to 743 million people in employment – have experienced “at least one form of violence and harassment at work during their working life”, according to data collected last year.
Nearly a third of victims said they had been subjected to more than one form of violence and harassment, and 6.3 percent had experienced it in all three forms — physical, psychological and sexual — during their working life.
The survey found that fewer than 55 percent of people who experienced it in the past five years had disclosed it to someone else.
“Violence and harassment at work is a taboo issue,” said Manuela Tomei, the ILO’s assistant director-general for governance, rights, dialogue.
The survey results were based on interviews with 74,364 workers across 121 countries.
Psychological violence and harassment at work was found to be the most common, with 17.9 percent, or 583 million people experiencing it in their working life.
The survey found that 8.5 percent — which would amount to 277 million people — had experienced physical violence and harassment.
While women are more likely to have suffered psychological violence, men are more often the victims of physical violence, the study found.
Violence and harassment of a sexual nature has affected 6.3 percent — approximately one person in every 15 in employment — with women “particularly exposed”, the ILO said.
Hurriyet Daily News