EOC Expresses Concerns about Sexual Harassment Incidents Allegedly Occurred on Campus
The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) is deeply concerned about a recent media report published today (1 November 2021) that a male student was allegedly caught taking upskirt photos of his female schoolmates and female teachers at their school.
Mr Ricky CHU Man-kin, EOC Chairperson said, “The EOC is deeply concerned about the incident. The alleged acts may be in breach of the Sex Discrimination Ordinance (SDO), Cap. 480. The EOC welcomes members of the public to contact us for enquiry on the protection against sexual harassment under the SDO, or to lodge complaints.”
Under the SDO, sexual harassment includes any unwelcome sexual behaviour directed towards the harassed person in circumstances which a reasonable person would have anticipated that the harassed person would be offended, humiliated, or intimidated. It includes any unwelcome sexual behaviour or conduct, or creating a sexually hostile or intimidating environment.
Mr CHU emphasised, “Sexual harassment between students, and between students and teaching staff are unlawful. In addition, while in general a school would not be held vicariously liable for unlawful acts committed by students since they are not employees or agents of the school, the school has the responsibility to take remedial actions to eliminate a sexually hostile or intimidating environment for its students and employees.”
Mr CHU continued, “The EOC established a dedicated Anti-Sexual Harassment Unit in November 2020 to enhance the effort in combating sexual harassment through prevention, research, policy advocacy, policy guidance and training. We also launched an Anti-Sexual Harassment Hotline to provide first port of call service for those affected by sexual harassment.”
If members of the public would like to know more about sexual harassment, including related law provisions and protected areas, they can visit the EOC’s Anti-Sexual Harassment Resource Platform (https://www.eoc.org.hk/compass/en/) or call the Anti-Sexual Harassment Hotline (2106 2222) to make enquiries.
Equal Opportunities Commission
1 November 2021