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平等機會委員會 EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES COMMISSION 1 23 February 2009 Ferrick CHU Head, Policy & Research Equal Opportunities Commission Preventing Sexual Harassment.

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Presentation on theme: "平等機會委員會 EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES COMMISSION 1 23 February 2009 Ferrick CHU Head, Policy & Research Equal Opportunities Commission Preventing Sexual Harassment."— Presentation transcript:

1 平等機會委員會 EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES COMMISSION 1 23 February 2009 Ferrick CHU Head, Policy & Research Equal Opportunities Commission Preventing Sexual Harassment on Campus

2 Real Cases (ESCC 5045/07) A male student touched the breast, buttock and back of a female student when they were attending an adventure training camp organized by school. The defendant was sentenced to 1-month jail yesterday…. [Ming Pao] A young secondary school teacher had a romance affair with a Form 3 girl. He was suspected to have committed indecent assault against the girl, and was sentenced to 4-month jail…. (KCCC700140/07) Three 10-year old boys, who are in grade 4, were suspected to have indecently assaulted a girl classmate, who has mild- grade interllectual disability, four times in a disabled toilet in school during recess… (HCCC121/07) A male student was sentenced to correctional training for forced sexual intercourse and indecent assault against a classmate… [Ming Pao] A young male teacher in a private school was suspected to have touched a Form 4 girl student several times in the course of invigilation…

3 平等機會委員會 EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES COMMISSION 3 Does teasing girls amount to sexual harassment? Does exposing body part deliberately amount to sexual harassment? All my colleagues will join in to talk about obscene things once an obscene topic is raised. Do their acts amount to sexual harassment? Is there any difference between making “funny” remarks and sexual harassment? Is speaking foul language equal to sexual harassment? Is forced kissing sexual harassment or indecent assault? What is Sexual Harassment?

4 平等機會委員會 EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES COMMISSION 4 Two types of sexual harassment: Against individual person Sexually hostile / intimidating environment Sexual Harassment

5 平等機會委員會 EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES COMMISSION 5 Sexual harassment is… Person A engages in an unwelcome conduct towards Person B such as:  making sexual advance  requesting for sexual favours  other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature A reasonable person having regard to all the circumstances would have anticipated that Person B would be offended, humiliated or intimidated.

6 平等機會委員會 EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES COMMISSION 6 Some examples unsolicited physical touch or acts unwelcome sexual advance remarks or jokes of a sexual nature questions or innuendo on a person’s private sex life display of offensive or pornographic materials unwelcome invitation offensive correspondence of a sexual nature staring or leering on a person or his/her body unwelcome physical touch touch or stroke a person’s clothes

7 平等機會委員會 EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES COMMISSION 7 What is not sexual harassment? welcome mutual consensual reciprocal acts of a sexual nature, fondling, affection or friendship.

8 平等機會委員會 EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES COMMISSION 8 Application man  woman woman  man man  man woman  woman

9 平等機會委員會 EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES COMMISSION 9 Application Responsible body or member of the responsible body Student or person who is seeking to be a student Employee Student

10 平等機會委員會 EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES COMMISSION 10 Campus Traps staircases toilets playground library computer room laboratory orientation camp picnic exchange visits class-association activities display boards games

11 平等機會委員會 EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES COMMISSION 11 “Victimization” A person is being treated or threatened to be treated less favourably because he/she has: lodged or intended to lodge sexual harassment complaint under the Ordinance provided or intended to provide information or document in relation to a sexual harassment complaint given or intended to give evidence in court as a witness in a sexual harassment proceedings reasonably exercising his/her own rights or the rights of others under the Ordinance

12 平等機會委員會 EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES COMMISSION 12 Vicarious Liability Employers are vicariously liable for the unlawful act done by their employees in the course of employment, unless they have taken reasonably practicable steps to prevent the unlawful act Principals are vicariously liable for the unlawful act done by their agents with the authority (whether express or implied, and whether precedent or subsequent) of the principal concerned Lack of knowledge about the committing of an unlawful act by an employee or agent is not a defence

13 平等機會委員會 EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES COMMISSION 13 Rights of the aggrieved To lodge a complaint with the school or employer To lodge a complaint with the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) EOC will conduct investigation into the complaint and endeavour conciliation If conciliation fails, the complainant may apply for legal assistance If criminal offence is involved, the complainant may report to the police

14 平等機會委員會 EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES COMMISSION 14 Are schools liable for students’ unlawful acts? Schools are not vicariously under normal circumstances Under special circumstances, however, schools may incur direct liability For example: A school received a sexual harassment complaint on an extracurricular activity organized by students, but did not take any remedial actions. If the school continued to allow such alleged unlawful activity to be held on it’s premises, it may incur direct liability.

15 平等機會委員會 EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES COMMISSION 15 Extracurricular activities If a school has employed or arranged to employ temporary coaches, instructors, etc., the school should be aware of their liability as a “principal” If the school had not taken any reasonably practicable steps to prevent sexual harassment (e.g., to inform the persons concerned verbally or in writing which clearly stating that the school prohibits and does not tolerate any sexual harassment), as a “principal”, the school may be vicariously liable for the unlawful act.

16 平等機會委員會 EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES COMMISSION 16 Preventive measures Develop and implement school-based policy to prevent sexual harassment Handle sexual harassment complaints seriously Arrange adequate trainings Review the policy regularly to ensure its effectiveness Remove offensive, explicit or obscene items displayed on campus Develop policy that prohibits improper use of computer technology (e.g., E-mail, screen saver and Internet, etc. )

17 平等機會委員會 EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES COMMISSION 17 Handling sexual harassment complaints Appoint liaison officers (both men & women) to handle sexual harassment complaints Provide information to students / parents and employees on the handling procedures and answer to their questions or worries Ensure that the students / parents and employees understand the sexual harassment handling procedures so that they know what to do when they encounter sexual harassment

18 平等機會委員會 EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES COMMISSION 18 Time Bars Lodging a complaint with the EOC : within 12 months Bringing a proceedings : within 2 years

19 平等機會委員會 EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES COMMISSION 19 Related Resources A play on Sexual Harassment by Forest Union “ A Mission for Equal Opportunities” training module On-line sexual harassment course for tertiary students Fee-charging workshops Enquiry & Complaint Hotline: 2511-8211 EOC website:


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