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Civil code defines, bans sexual harassment

The move is unprecedented in China's legal history. Cao Yin reports.

By Cao Yin | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2020-06-01 09:22
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What they say

I'm happy that the civil code is providing a solution to sexual harassment, which has long been a major problem.

The All-China Women's Federation has called for the top legislative body to address the problem and made several suggestions about the issue. This time, we received an answer.

As well as highlighting the ban on such misconduct, the code clarifies the responsibilities of schools, businesses and government departments in a way that is more practical and specific than any other regulation. I believe this will contribute to the protection of victims and build better environments for work and study.

Tan Lin, an NPC deputy and member of the All-China Women's Federation

Highlighting the ban on sexual harassment in the code shows the country's determination to fight such misconduct, to better protect personality rights and respond to hot issues among the public. Clarifying the responsibilities of entities such as schools and companies is essential, as that can provide victims of sexual harassment with channels to report such activity and also safeguards them by taking urgent measures to prevent misconduct from the start.

Wang Yi, president of the School of Law at Renmin University of China

Some people who are sexually harassed by their bosses or teachers often stay silent because they are afraid of these powerful people. If the victims were to speak out, they might face difficulties in their job or education careers. However, that silence sometimes aggravates sexual harassment, so it's essential to support the victims by rule of law and by clearly marking the responsibilities of schools, companies and government agencies-where sexual harassment via the abuse of power often happens-to prevent such misconduct.

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