Latin America commits to legislate on the prevention and punishment of harassment and workplace violence
28 junio 2018


Workplace violence. The 107th International Labor Conference, an event that brought together representatives of governments, workers and employers from 187 countries, ended June 8th. The meeting, organized by the International Labor Organization (ILO), had as its highlights the fight against labor violence and gender inequalities. In this context, a series of proposals were developed, such as the commitment of the States to introduce modifications in their regulatory framework to prohibit all types of harassment at work, install control mechanisms and penalties for eventual non-compliances.The proposals will be analyzed independently by the States and will be considered at the ILO Conference in June 2019. However, Mexico, Argentina, Guatemala and Paraguay have already begun that process by signing a labor cooperation agreement that proposes to expedite the documentation of migrants to guarantee their labor rights and prevent discrimination.

The Normative Commission that was working during the Conference prepared a report on violence and harassment against women and men in the workplaces. They presented resolutions and conclusions related to fundamental rights and the protection of people in workplaces against harassment, violence or discrimination. In addition, a framework of action was presented to promote the strategic objective of social dialogue and tripartism. It promotes, among other measures, gender equality and the strengthening of dialogue mechanisms and institutions related to technological advances, the green economy, demographic changes and globalization.

In this regard, during the Conference, the governments of Mexico, Argentina, Guatemala and Paraguay signed a Labor Cooperation agreement that strengthens ties, based on the National Employment Services. Within the framework of this agreement, the participants planned to develop a Temporary Work Program, so that workers of these nationalities can work worthily and safely. In addition, it addresses the implementation of cooperation activities in the areas of employment, agricultural labor mobility, and combating child labor, among other issues.

Next steps

The Conference will resume the discussion on violence and harassment in workplaces in June 2019. At the regional level, a second series of discussions will be held related to gender equality and the future of work with social dialogue in the 19th American Regional Meeting of the ILO, to be held from October 2nd to 5th in Panama. Regarding the Labor Cooperation Agreement, it is expected that countries can make progress in designing programs for the legal, fair, transparent and orderly hiring of temporary migrant workers.