Government and employers: Sign the agreement against harassment and violence at work - January 2019 - 2019 - News - Our work - CNV Internationaal

Government and employers: Sign the agreement against harassment and violence at work

CNV Internationaal and FNV are initiating a petition against violence at work. During the next few months, the associations would like to accumulate as many signatures as they can in order to persuade the Dutch government and employers to sign this internationally binding agreement against violence and harassment at work. The majority of EU countries have already voiced support for the agreement; the Netherlands is lagging behind. 

“End violence and harassment at work! You’d sign for that, wouldn’t you?” You can add you signature at

In the Netherlands, almost half of all workers encounter one or more forms of harassment, with women encountering it more often than men.

Worldwide, 35% of all women over the age of 15 experience sexual violence. Few countries have effective policy against violence and harassment at work. While the Netherlands has policy, it isn’t effective enough, and it is often unknown. A mere 20% of Dutch workers know their company’s policies on this subject.

CNV Internationaal and FNV think that an internationally binding agreement against violence and harassment at work deserves the clear and open support of the Dutch government and employers. However, Minister Koolmees of Employment and Social Affairs and the employers organisation, VNO-NCW, do not seem convinced that this international agreement is necessary.

In June of 2019, national governments, employers, and workers of all UN countries will discuss ways to ban violence and harassment at work during a summit put on by the ILO. Governments, employers, and workers are not yet in agreement regarding how this should be accomplished. Employers organisations are wary of having to deal with more legislation. But trade unions want an internationally binding agreement.

Arend van Wijngaarden, President of CNV Internationaal says, “An international agreement is the only way for the Netherlands to deal with the problems still present in its national approach. But it’s also the only real way to help improve the positions of workers worldwide.” 

Publication date: 2019-01-28

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