Shenzhen has unveiled a document to guide government agencies, schools, enterprises and other institutions to establish a mechanism to prevent and handle sexual harassment.
Behaviors that may constitute sexual harassment include inappropriate language, messages, images and body contact.
The document, endorsed by nine government agencies, defines sexual harassment behaviors and requires related organizations set up offices and rules to handle sexual harassment complaints and offer counseling to victims. The document is China’s first guidelines in dealing with sexual harassment.
The government agencies like the police, courts and schools have responsibilities in the anti-sexual harassment drive. Human resources, market supervision and State assets administration authorities will guide enterprises to establish a mechanism in sexual harassment prevention. Education departments are tasked with establishing the mechanism at schools and training centers and including sex education into the curricula of middle and primary schools.
The guidelines outline punishments and seven ways of handling complaints, such as how to ensure complaints’ confidentiality. If the two parties involved are superior and subordinate, or teacher and student, they are not subject to mediation.
The guidelines also require related departments to set up hotlines, mail boxes and emails to receive complaints. Those who disclose information of the parties involved during an investigation and mediation will be held liable.