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Policies & Guidelines

Paper on the Issue of Sexual Harassment


Information about Sexual Harassment from the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC)

 

What is Sexual Harassment?

  • Sexual harassment is any unwelcome or uninvited sexual behaviour that is generally regarded as offensive, humiliating or intimidating. There are two forms of sexual harassment:
    1. Any unwelcome sexual behaviour or conduct which is offensive, humiliating or intimidating; or
    2. An environment where there are actions, languages or pictures that are of a sexual nature that makes it hard for the victim. This is called “a sexually hostile or intimidating environment”.

Examples of Sexual Harassment

  • Unwelcome physical contact or actions (for example, deliberately rubbing up against someone’s body, kissing, hugging, etc.)
  • Make wretched poses
  • Make unwelcome sexual demands
  • Make sex-related obscene jokes and comment on other people’s figures
  • Constantly questioning or insinuating other people’s sex lives
  • Circulate sexually explicit materials (for example, email, instant message on a mobile app, etc.)

Examples of a Hostile or Intimidating Environment 

  • Make sexual jokes
  • Access pornographic websites at work 
  • Use indecent photos as the desktop background
  • Display or put up sexually suggestive or explicit photographs, posters or calendar

Sexual Harassment in Employment and Educational Establishment

  • Employment
    For example, colleagues (including volunteers and interns) in the same office or a common workplace, applicants, contractual workers, etc.
  • Education
    Between staff and students, among students, etc.

What can you do if you are sexually harassed?

  1. Speak up and say “no” at the time to tell the harasser that his/her act is unwelcome and should be stopped immediately.
  2. Keep a written record of the incidents, including the dates, time, location, witnesses and nature (what the harasser has said or done) and your response.
  3. Get emotional support and advice from the people you trust.
  4. Seek help from a non-governmental organisation (NGO) or a related organisation.
  5. Report the incident to your supervisor if it happened at your workplace.
  6. Lodge a written complaint with the EOC.
  7. Consult a lawyer or institute legal proceedings at the District Court.

(Source: Equal Opportunities Commission. Available at https://www.eoc.org.hk/compass/en/

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