More than 20% suffered harassment at work: UN
More than one in five people in employment worldwide have experienced some form of workplace harassment or violence, according to a survey released by the United Nations on Monday.
"Violence and harassment at work is a widespread phenomenon around the world," the UN's International Labour Organization said following a joint study by the ILO, Lloyd's Register Foundation and pollsters Gallup.
The survey was a first attempt to produce a global overview of the magnitude and frequency of the problem, and the barriers that prevent people from talking about it.
It found that 22.8 percent -- which would amount to 743 million people in employment -- have experienced "at least one form of violence and harassment at work during their working life", according to data collected last year.
Nearly a third of victims (31.8 percent) said they had been subjected to more than one form of violence and harassment, and 6.3 percent had experienced it in all three forms -- physical, psychological and sexual -- during their working life.
The survey was mainly conducted by telephone and the questions were formulated so they could be understood by as many people as possible.
The study found that the perception of what constitutes violence or harassment is not the same around the world: in some places, pushing someone could be seen as rude behaviour, but nothing further than that.
Psychological violence and harassment at work was found to be the most common, with 17.9 percent, or 583 million people experiencing it in their working life.
The survey found that 8.5 percent (which would amount to 277 million people) had experienced physical violence and harassment.
While women are more likely to have suffered psychological violence, men are more often the victims of physical violence, the study found.
Violence and harassment of a sexual nature has affected 6.3 percent -- approximately one person in every 15 in employment -- with women "particularly exposed", the ILO said.
Of the three forms of violence and harassment, it has the biggest gender gap: more than eight percent of women are victims, compared to five percent among men.
"Young women were twice as likely as young men to have experienced sexual violence and harassment," the ILO added.