Many emerging countries were under foreign colonization in the last century. This partly explains why these countries have been slow to protect workers. Colonial priorities were seldom about workplace safety.

In the 21st century, the world has known rapid development of internet technology and digitalization. The globe is becoming like a small village where much information is rapidly shared. Information about human rights, workplace violence, workplace safety and legal remedies flow across borders readily.

Consequently, employees in emerging countries are more conscious of their rights, and they intend to improve workplace safety and prevent aggression at work. At the same time, many with higher rank, such as bosses or managers, still have a superiority complex.

In many instances, verbal abuse and sexual harassment in the workplace are challenging to prove. For this reason, many countries struggle to protect victims against bullying and sexual abuse. At the same time, some emerging countries are giving priority to protecting women against acts of aggression in the workplace.

For example, the Kingdom of Morocco, a leader in this type of social change, has recently implemented, in 2018, a law protecting women against workplace harassment, social harassment, and economic harassment. This step was applauded within the country and seen as a large success, especially given the barriers women face in this conservative society.

The criminalization of workplace aggression is one of the most critical steps being taken.

Written for Progress Daily by Nesrin Benhayoun, PhD