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20% Of Employees Experience Violence, Harassment, Survey Finds

More than one in five workers have experienced violence or harassment at their workplace, according to a global survey released this week. The risk of workplace violence or harassment was greater if the worker was younger, a migrant or was not self-employed, found a 2021 survey from the United Nations International Labor Organization, the London-based Lloyd’s Register Foundation and Gallup. Overall, a slightly higher percentage of women experienced violence or harassment than men, the poll showed, the Washington Post reports. Young women were twice as likely as young men to suffer sexual violence and harassment. The survey of 74,364 people aged 15 or older and employed was conducted across 121 countries. It found that 23 percent of them had experience with physical, psychological or sexual violence or harassment at work. The poll placed workplace violence and harassment into three categories: physical, psychological and sexual.

Sexual violence or harassment included unwanted sexual touching, comments, pictures, emails or sexual requests. Worldwide, six percent of workers reported sexual violence or harassment at work. More women (eight percent) than men (five percent) reported sexual violence or harassment, the largest difference among the three forms of violence and harassment the survey measured. Some 12 percent of workers in the Americas, including 18 percent of women, experienced sexual violence or harassment at work. Physical violence or harassment was defined as hitting, restraining or spitting. Worldwide, nine percent of workers reported such violence. Geographically, Africa registered the highest prevalence of such violence with 13 percent. Globally, more men (nine percent) faced such workplace violence than women (seven percent). Psychological violence or harassment was defined as experiencing insults, threats, bullying or intimidation at work. Globally, 18 percent of workers have encountered such behavior.


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