What is sexual harassment
Sexual harassment is constituted when any person carries out an offensive act in an unwelcome sexual manner towards others, causing the latter to feel uncomfortable, humiliated, intimidated or disrespected. There are no gender restrictions in sexual harassment. Persons of all genders can be harassers and victims.
Sexual harassment includes but is not limited to
Unwelcome request for sex
Unwelcome bodily contact
Verbal sexual verbal harassment
Act of sexual gesture
According to the Sex Discrimination Ordinance of Hong Kong, sexual harassment contravenes the law and is of civil nature.
Sections on sexual harassment do not apply to all areas. The application is limited to
Employment area For example, colleagues, applicants (including internship position), contractual workers, domestic helpers, etc.
Education area Between staff members and students, among students, etc.
Provision of goods, facilities or services area Including between providers and users of goods and services, for example between shopkeepers and customers, coaches and apprentices
Sexual harassment or indecent assault?
Some sexual harassment behaviour constitutes criminal nature at the same time, such as indecent exposure of any part of body, clandestine photography or filming, and unwelcome bodily touch.
What can I do if I encounter sexual harassment?
Stop the harasser immediately and express your stance
Clearly express your feeling to the harasser and state that his or her behaviour is unwelcome. Request him or her to stop.
Communicate the incident to someone who can provide emotional support or advice. You may also seek help from professional counsellors and obtain information about informal or formal complaints procedures.
Record the date, time, venue, witness and details (what was said and done by the harasser) of the sexual harassment as well as your response to facilitate the lodging of a complaint subsequently.
Complain to company, institute or school management
In order to protect employees, employers/ management have the obligation to establish and execute informal and formal complaints procedures in order to handle sexual harassment complaints.
Complain to the Equal Opportunities Commission
The Equal Opportunities Commission is responsible to handle complaint cases related to sexual harassment. Complainant must lodge the complaint to the Equal Opportunities Commission within 12 months after the incident.
Complain hotline：2511 8211 / firstname.lastname@example.org
SMS information service: 6972566616538 (for persons of hearing/speech impairments)
Commence civil proceedings
Should you wish to claim via civil proceedings, you shall make the application to the District Court within 24 months after the incident for the Court to resolve the matters. You are advised to obtain legal advice from lawyers. If there are financial difficulties, you may consider seeking free or subsidised legal support service from the Legal Aid Department, Duty Lawyer Service or Hong Kong Bar Association.
Experienced counsellors following up on cases and providing emotional support
Process Support Service
Accompanying relevant person to face legal proceedings including civil proceedings, mediation proceedings, statement-taking, appearing before court, etc.
Free Legal Consultation
Arranging meeting with pro bono lawyers and providing information about the law and relevant rights and interests
Workplace Anti-Sexual Harassment Training Session for Organisation/Corporate
Increase awareness in workplace sexual harassment, responding to it, and how should sexual harassment complaints be handled. Learn more/make an appointment: email@example.com