Sat | Sep 22, 2018

Grange encourages use of sexual harassment legislation once passed

Published:Monday | May 28, 2018 | 12:00 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer

The long-promised legislation to deal with sexual harassment should get the final nod from the Cabinet shortly before being taken to Parliament, and Minister with responsibility for Gender Affairs Olivia 'Babsy' Grange is encouraging Jamaicans to make use of the law once it takes effect.

"If we will begin to see incidents of people coming out like in the United States, we will have to wait and see what happens," said Grange.

"But once the legislation is there, I would encourage persons to use it to ensure they are protected under the law. Once it is passed, we have to see how the public responds. It is not just for women, but for men, too," added Grange.

The sexual harassment bill was taken off the parliamentary agenda in 2016, and Grange said that adjustments had to be made to the bill, which should give protection to persons from unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favours, and crude sexual behaviour.

"It is ready to go back to Parliament. Procedurally, it had to be sent back to the attorney general, but it is now back with the ministry and will be on the Cabinet agenda very shortly. "

Justice Minister Delroy Chuck has described the proposed legislation as extensive.

"The bill is quite lengthy, but it is going to deal a lot with harassment in the workplace. It will look at what constitutes sexual harassment and its punishment," Chuck told The Gleaner yesterday.

jason.cross@gleanerjm.com