Specialized Agencies
last updated 13 June 2013
International Labour Organization (ILO)
The International Labour Organization (ILO) is the UN specialized agency that promotes internationally recognized human and labor rights. The ILO formulates policies to improve working conditions and employment opportunities, as well as global labor standards, through conventions and recommendations.[1] The ILO, through its Conditions of Work and Employment (TRAVAIL) program, addresses workplace violence and harassment.[2] The ILO has produced several publications on this issue, including an information booklet on company practices to combat sexual harassment around the world, Security Guidelines for Women[3], and an information resource book of Guidelines on Gender Employment Policies[4]. The ILO has also published, through its Bureau for Gender Equality, Gender Equality and Decent Work: Selected ILO Conventions and Recommendations that Promote Gender Equality as of 2012. The book “provides some of the key conventions for promoting gender equality in the world of work.”[5] The ILO has also published a report titled Sexual Harassment at Work: National and International Responses (2005) by D. McCann. It examines international and domestic standards, activities undertaken by NGOs, governments, employers and employees, workplace policies, and developments and trends.[6]
World Health Organization (WHO)
The World Health Organization (WHO), seeks to promote gender perspectives throughout its work through the Department of Gender, Women and Health. It uses research, training and advocacy to increase understanding about gender issues. [7] WHO also addresses domestic violence, or interpersonal violence, through its Violence and Injury Department, which was created in 2000.[8] In 2002, WHO launched the Global Campaign for Violence Prevention to increase awareness about violence, emphasize the role of public health, and encourage action. The Global Campaign for Violence Prevention contributes to implementation of the recommendations of the World Report on Violence and Health“ by raising awareness about the problem of violence, highlighting the crucial role that public health can play in addressing its causes and consequences, and fostering prevention.”[9] In 2013, WHO published a report titled Global and Regional Estimates of Violence Against Women. The report focused on the prevalence of violence against women in two particular areas: intimate partner violence and non-partner sexual violence. The report details the health effects that these areas of domestic violence have for women.[10] In 2005, WHO launched its Multi-country Study on Women's Health and Domestic Violence against Women, a study on domestic violence in ten countries based on interviews with 24,000 women.[11]



[1] “Origins and History,” International Labour Organization, http://www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/history/lang--en/index.htm.
[2] “Conditions of Work and Employment (TRAVAIL),” International Labour Organization, http://www.ilo.org/travail/lang--en/index.htm.
[3] United Nations Department of Safety and Security, “Security Guidelines for Women,” United Nations (2006): http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---dgreports/---gender/documents/instructionalmaterial/wcms_083929.pdf.
[4] International Labour Organization, “Guidelines on Gender in Employment Policies,” United Nations, http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---ed_emp/documents/instructionalmaterial/wcms_103611.pdf.
[5] “Gender Equality and Decent Work: Selected ILO Conventions and Recommendations that Promote Gender Equality as of 2012,” International Labour Organization, http://www.ilo.org/global/publications/ilo-bookstore/order-online/books/WCMS_191587/lang--en/index.htm.
[6] Diedre McCann, “Sexual harassment at work: National and International Responses,” International Labour Organization (2005): http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---ed_protect/---protrav/---travail/documents/publication/wcms_travail_pub_2.pdf.
[7] “Gender, Women, and Health,” World Health Organization, http://www.who.int/gender/en/.
[8] “Violence and injury Prevention,” World Health Organization, http://www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/en/.
[9] "Plan of Action for the Global Campaign for Violence Prevention (GCVP) for the period 2012-2020”, World Health Organization, http://www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/violence/global_campaign/en/.
[10] “Global and Regional Estimates of Violence against Women,” World Health Organization Department of Reproductive Health and Research, http://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/publications/violence/9789241564625/en/index.html.
[11] “WHO Multi Country Study on Women’s Health and Domestic Violence against Women,” World Health Organization, http://www.who.int/gender/violence/who_multicountry_study/en/index.html.