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Employers should also bear responsibility for workplace sexual harassment
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19:37, March 03, 2008

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China's law experts have suggested employers take responsibility and be punished for work venue sexual harassment.

In an advisory report based on three years of research by the China Law Society, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) and the anti-workplace sexual harassment project team, the experts further clarified the definition of sexual harassment, and the scope of compensation in sexual harassment lawsuits, the China Women's Daily said Monday, without giving details.

"Workplace is where sexual harassment frequently occurs," said Tang Can, a researcher with the Institute of Sociology of CASS. "Departments and employers must also be responsible for preventing such offenses."

China added the prohibition of sexual harassment into its amended Law on Protection of Women's Rights in 2005, providing a legal basis for such cases. However, as experts argued, the lack of a clear definition of harassment has made it difficult to enforce.

In 2007, local legislature in China's biggest city Shanghai passed a law that clearly defined sexual harassment.

The revised Shanghai Municipal Measures for Implementing China's Law on Protection of Women's Rights stipulated that the offense includes verbal abuse, written text, pictures, text messaging and physical contact. The new measure also allows victims the right to lodge complaints with the employer, relevant departments and public security organizations for not taking measures of prevention.

Local legislatures in east China's Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces have also similarly defined sexual harassment.

The advisory report has been submitted to deputies to the upcoming First Session of the 11th National People's Congress, China's top legislature, and the ongoing first session of the 11th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the country's top advisory body, for deliberations, according to the daily.

Source: Xinhua

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