The Governing Body of the ILO agreed at its 279th Session in November 2000 that a
meeting of experts should be held in 2003 to develop a code of practice on violence and
stress in services sectors. At the 284th Session of the Governing Body, in June 2002, it was
agreed that the Meeting of Experts should be held from 8 to 15 October 2003, and that the
Meeting would have the following composition: 12 experts nominated by Governments
(Algeria, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, Mauritius, Peru, Philippines,
South Africa, United Kingdom and United States), 12 experts nominated after
consultations with the Employers’ group of the Governing Body and 12 experts nominated
after consultations with the Workers’ group of the Governing Body. It was also decided
that the purpose of the Meeting should be: to consider and review a draft and to adopt a
code of practice on violence and stress at work in services sectors: A threat to productivity
and decent work. A draft text was developed by the ILO for circulation to member States
for comments in May 2003, before the Meeting of Experts, and those comments were
collated and summarized for the experts in September 2003.
The present code of practice on workplace violence in services sectors and measures
to combat this phenomenon was drawn up by a Meeting of Experts held in Geneva from 8
to 15 October 2003. In accordance with the aforementioned decision of June 2002, the
Meeting was composed of 12 experts nominated by Governments, 12 experts nominated
by the Employers and 12 experts nominated by the Workers.
On the authorization of the
Governing Body, all other ILO member States were invited as observers, and the following
countries attended: Ireland, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland and
This code is not a legally binding instrument and is not intended to replace national
laws and regulations. The practical recommendations of this publication have been
designed to provide guidance to ILO constituents and all those responsible for addressing
workplace violence in services sectors. It is based on an analysis of the extent, nature and
causes of workplace violence in public and private services. It identifies the roles and
responsibilities of governments, employers and workers. The code promotes a proactive
approach to prevention, based on occupational safety and health management systems.
It is intended that the provisions of the code will assist in reducing or eliminating
violence at workplaces in services sectors.
Experts nominated by Governments:
M. Omar BOURAS, Sous-directeur de la prévention des risques professionnels, ministère du
Travail et de la Sécurité sociale, Alger (Algeria)
Ms. Nancy HARWOOD, Senior Policy Director, Workers’ Compensation Board of British
Columbia, Vancouver ( Canada).
Ms. Jane M. RAVN, Head of Office, Danish Working Environment Authority, Valby (Denmark).
Mr. Peter ULLSPERGER, Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Berlin (Germany).
Mr. Valentin KLOTZ, Social Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Germany in Geneva.