Skip to main content

Safe at work? Global experiences of violence and harassment

This page is approximately a 2 minute read

A photograph of a rally in Bangladesh in which the Green Bangla Garment Workers' Federation want ratification and realisation of ILO convention 190.

Violence and harassment at work remains an issue for many people globally.

This report explores individual experiences across countries and demographics around the world. It provides insight for regulators, businesses, governments, communities, and researchers to help them develop relevant policies to prevent harassment for millions of people during their working lives.


An introduction to the report

Experts from the International Labour Organization and Lloyd's Register Foundation discuss the report's findings.

Key Findings

  • More than one in five people worldwide (21%) say they have experienced some form of violence and harassment – whether physical, psychological, or sexual – at work during their lifetime. More than one in 10 people (12%) say they have experienced it within the past year.
  • Psychological harassment – such as insults, threats, bullying or intimidation –is the most common form of workplace abuse globally, with 17% (about one in six people) saying they have experienced this during their lifetime. This is followed by physical (7%) and sexual (6%) violence and harassment.
  • A number of groups are at heightened risk of particular and multiple forms of violence and harassment globally, including migrant women, three in ten (30%) of whom say they have experienced any form of violence and harassment at work, compared with two in five women (21%) working in their country of birth.
  • For a majority of those who have experienced it, violence and harassment at work is a recurring issue. More than three in five people (61%) who have experienced psychological harassment say this has happened three or more times, including almost two in five (37%) who have experienced it more than five times. More than half of people who have experienced physical (56%) and sexual (52%) violence and harassment say this has happened three or more times.


What forms of violence and harassment to men and women experience at work?

The data visualisation shows the proportion of men and women who reported any experience of each of the three forms of violence and harassment (physical, psychological, and sexual) asked about by the Poll, as well as the proportion who experienced different combinations of forms. This visualisation is split by gender, with women shown above and men below.

Use your cursor to hover over the data segments for more information, and scroll down to see more data. We recommend using a desktop or laptop device for the best user experience.

Violence and Harassment

Expert comment