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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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August 2018

The civil code's draft section on personality rights is submitted to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress for its first reading.

The draft clarifies that those alleged to have sexually harassed others through word or deed, or by taking advantage of their position, will be subject to potential civil action if they are sued by their victims.

April 2019

The draft is submitted to the NPC Standing Committee for a second reading. It further emphasizes that employers must take measures to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace, provide a channel for victims to report such actions and take steps against offenders.

August 2019

The document is submitted to the NPC Standing Committee for a third reading. This time, schools, businesses and government departments are highlighted among employers who should take measures to deal with sexual harassment. The word "workplace" is removed from the document because lawmakers think sexual harassment in unequal relationships may also happen in other places.

December 2019

The draft is combined with the general provisions and five other sections to form the full text of the civil code.

May 22, 2020

The draft is submitted to the annual plenary session of the 13th NPC for deliberation.

May 28, 2020

The draft is adopted by the NPC. It will come into force on Jan 1.

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