EOC says students have right to study in harassment free environment
The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) today (23 August 2006) responded to recent media reports of activities held at university orientation camps.
"Sexual harassment is conduct of a sexual nature that is not welcomed, whether it be a physical act, verbal or written statement. This behaviour could reasonably be expected to make a person feel offended, intimidated or humiliated. Though the 'games' at orientation camps might mean different things to different people, every student has the right to learn in a gender friendly and harassment free environment," a Commission spokesperson said.
The spokesperson reiterated that sexual harassment in educational establishments might contravene the Sex Discrimination Ordinance (SDO) and enquirers can contact the EOC Hotline (2511-8211) for assistance.
The EOC has organized a series of public education initiatives in the past few years to prevent sexual harassment in tertiary educational institutes. All universities in Hong Kong have in place sexual harassment policies and are committed to the creation of a campus environment that is safe and respectful. However, for a policy to be effective, it has to be vigorously promoted and implemented.
To combat sexual harassment, the Commission's efforts included, amongst others, a Forum on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Universities, Orientation Camp Game Design Contest to Promote Gender Awareness, prime-time TV programmes and training workshops. The production of a new on-line training module for university students is in the pipeline.
For media enquiries, please contact Ms. Mariana LAW at 2106-2226.