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World

AFP
November 21, 2018

UN adopts first resolution aimed at curbing sexual harassment

World

AFP
Wed, Nov, 18

UNITED NATIONS: In a historic move, a committee of the UN General Assembly has adopted a resolution on sexual harassment that would urge governments to condemn violence against women and girls, The resolution passed on Monday by the 193-member Assembly's Third committee, which deals with social, cultural and humanitarian questions, calls on states not invoke any custom, tradition or religious consideration to avoid their obligations with regard to the elimination of violence against women and girls.

The non-binding resolution urges states to take effective action to prevent and eliminate sexual harassment against women and girls, to address structural and underlying causes and risk factors, and to protect victims of all forms of violence, including sexual harassment.

It calls on states to address discrimination that places women and girls at greater risk of exploitation, violence and abuse, and to take appropriate action to empower and protect them.

The resolution calls on states to take necessary measures to ensure that employers in all sectors are held accountable when they fail to abide by laws and regulations addressing sexual harassment.

The text calls on states to encourage digital technology companies, including Internet service providers and digital platforms, to strengthen or adopt positive measures with a view to eliminating violence and sexual harassment in digital contexts.

It also urges states to ensure the promotion and protection of the human rights of all women and their sexual and reproductive health, and reproductive rights.

As the committee debated, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the launch of a UN awareness-raising campaign that violence against women and girls was a "global pandemic".

"Not until the half of our population represented by women and girls can live free of fear, violence and everyday insecurity, can we truly say we live in a fair and equal world," Guterres said.