Nobody should be the target of violence and harassment simply for doing their job
We must continue to ensure there are strong measures in place, both here and across the world, to prevent violence and harassment and to protect people from the many forms this can take.
Nobody should be the target of violence and harassment simply for doing their job. That is why yesterday I announced to Parliament our intention to ratify the International Labour Organisation’s Violence and Harassment Convention – the first international treaty to recognise the right of everyone to work free from violence and harassment.
The treaty sets out a first-of-its-kind common framework for action, something the UK has led the way on during extensive international negotiations over the last two years.
We already have some of the strongest laws to protect employees and we want to strengthen these even further
We already have some of the strongest laws to protect employees and we want to strengthen these even further, including by introducing explicit protections for employees from harassment by third parties, for example customers or clients.
Overseas, we will continue to advocate fiercely for the safety and rights of women and girls, calling on all countries to demonstrate their commitment to uphold these values, including by ratifying this new convention. We will not falter in our defence of the rights of women and girls to live free from violence and abuse.
As we build back fairer from the pandemic, and look towards brighter days ahead, this convention presents us with a unique opportunity to deliver a more inclusive, integrated and international approach to tackling workplace violence and harassment.
I am proud that the UK is one of the first countries to sign up to the treaty and has led the way during the two years of treaty negotiations – a treaty that will build on the UK’s world-leading work to further protect employees from violence and harassment at work.
Thérèse Coffey is the Conservative MP for Suffolk Coastal and is the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.
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