CARE International UK spearheaded a two-year campaign that secured a new international convention on ending violence and harassment in the workplace.
CARE UK calculated that at least 235 million women globally are vulnerable to workplace abuse, without access to legal recourse. Power imbalances, social norms and vulnerable employment mean that women are disproportionately affected.
Workplace violence can wreak a huge physical and psychological toll on survivors and their families. It also prevents women from fully engaging in work and can cost businesses and economies money through lost productivity.
Yet 59 countries have no laws against workplace harassment, and many countries that do have laws do not implement them.
Therefore, in July 2017 CARE UK joined a global CARE campaign, #ThisIsNotWorking, to call for an international convention. The charity worked with trade bodies in the private sector and lobbied politicians. It adapted its approach throughout the campaign in response to global events, notably the #MeToo movement. Over 27,000 people signed a letter urging brands to end the abuse of women who make clothes.
In June 2019 the International Labour Conference voted with an overwhelming majority to adopt a new Convention and Recommendation to end violence and harassment at work.
The combination of the legally binding Convention and a non-binding Recommendation represents the strongest possible combination that creates a new internationally recognised benchmark. In addition, the increased public awareness means that CARE UK and others are in a good position to keep up the pressure on the UK government to ratify the Convention.
Charity Awards judge Richard Hawkes described it as “an excellent campaign – good strategy, very good implementation, great outcome, and very replicable”.
CC Reg no. 292506