People exit the Google office on 8th Avenue and walk to 14th Street Park for a rally on November 1, 2018 in New York City, protesting the company for its handling of sexual harassment and what they say is a failure to police gender- and race-based discrimination. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
Dec. 5 (UPI) -- A first-ever global survey of workplace harassment and violence found at least one in five people experience some form of violence at work.
The Experiences of Violence and Harassment at Work survey delved into the prevalence and severity of workplace violence, as well as the factors that keep people from reporting it. Though it found about 23% of workers worldwide have experienced violence or harassment, it is limited by the reporting of these types of instances. Only about half of victims disclosed their experiences to others.
The survey, published Monday, was a joint endeavor by the International Labour Organization, Lloyd's Register Foundation and Gallup.
"Violence and harassment at work is difficult to measure," the report states. "The most common reasons given for non-disclosure were 'waste of time' and 'fear for their reputation.'"
Women were found to be more likely to disclose instances than men, doing so at a rate of about 60% to just 50% by their counterparts. About 6% of all respondents experienced sexual violence and harassment and a majority of them were women.
Of those who are victims of violence and harassment, three of five said they had experienced these types of incidences more than once.
About 18% of workers reported experiencing psychological violence at work. More than 8% said they were victims of physical violence and harassment.
Young workers and migrant workers are among the most targeted groups for some type of workplace harassment. Young women in particular are victims at a disproportionate rate compared to young men. They are twice as likely to be sexually harassed or face sexual violence.
"It's painful to learn that people face violence and harassment not just once but multiple times in their working lives," said Manuela Tomei, ILO assistant director-general for Governance, Rights and Dialogue.
"Psychological violence and harassment is the most prevalent across countries and women are particularly exposed to sexual violence and harassment."
Tomei said she hopes the report shines a light on how common these types of situations are in the workplace, and how much damage they do.
"I hope it will expedite action on the ground and towards the ratification and implementation of ILO Convention 190," she said.
ILO Convention 190 is an agreement among multiple international bodies to implement labor standards to protect workers from violence and harassment.
"For too long, companies and organizations have been unaware or unwilling to tackle violence and harassment in the workplace. This dataset provides a baseline that we can all use to track much-needed progress on this vital safety issue," said Andrew Rzepa, who leads the public sector divisions in Europe, the Middle East and Africa for Gallup.