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close this bookABC of Women Workers' Rights and Gender Equality (ILO; 2000; 124 pages)
View the documentThe International Labour Organization
View the documentILO Publications
View the documentPreface to the earlier ABC of women workers' rights
View the documentPreface to the new ABC of women workers' rights and gender equality
Open this folder and view contentsIntroduction: Labour standards promoting women workers' rights and gender equality (Ingeborg Heide1)
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View the documentRadiation protection
View the documentRemedies and sanctions
View the documentRespect for cultural identity
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View the documentOther ILO publications
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Remedies and sanctions

A remedy is a way of compensating or correcting harm or damage suffered; a sanction is a criminal penalty or a civil fine as a punishment for unacceptable behaviour. Both remedies and sanctions are ways of rendering the legal systems effective and of serving as a deterrent to illegal conduct.

National legislation on equal pay, opportunity and treatment is important, but is not by itself sufficient to ensure its application in law and practice. Discrimination should be prevented by effective means of deterrence, and victims of discrimination should be fairly compensated. To secure acceptance of the law, it is important to have remedies and/or sanctions available in instances of discrimination.

A gradual trend towards strengthening remedies and sanctions can be observed. Many countries rely more heavily on sanctions than on remedies. For more effective enforcement, legal sanctions are combined with remedies in some countries. Remedies and sanctions are also becoming increasingly important to prevent and combat sexual harassment at the workplace. The European Court of Justice has, through a number of rulings, enforced more efficient remedies and sanctions for cases of sex discrimination in the European Union.

→ see also Discrimination and Sexual harassment

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