Monday, January 28, 2019

Intensification of efforts to prevent and eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls: sexual harassment 1/3

 The General Assembly,  Recalling its resolutions 61/143 of 19 December 2006, 62/133 of 18 December 2007, 63/155 of 18 December 2008, 64/137 of 18 December 2009, 65/187 of 21 December 2010, 67/144 of 20 December 2012, 69/147 of 18 December 2014 and all its previous resolutions on the elimination of violence against women, as well as its resolution 71/170 of 19 December 2016 on the intensification of efforts to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls,  Reaffirming the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,1 and noting that 2018 marks its seventieth anniversary,  Reaffirming also the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action,2 and noting that 2018 marks its twenty-fifth anniversary,  Recalling Human Rights Council resolution 38/5 of 5 July 2018, entitled “Accelerating efforts to eliminate violence against women and girls: preventing and responding to violence against women and girls in digital contexts”,3  Taking note of the agreed conclusions of the Commission on the Status of Women at its sixty-first session4 and Commission resolution 61/1 of 24 March 2017 on preventing and eliminating sexual harassment in the workplace,

 Reaffirming the obligation of all States to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms, and reaffirming also that discrimination on the basis of sex is contrary to the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 6  the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,6 the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women7 and the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Optional Protocols thereto,8 

Reaffirming also the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women,9  the Beijing Declaration10  and Platform for Action,11  the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development12  and the outcomes of their review conferences, and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,13  

Recalling the commitment to eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation, contained in Sustainable Development Goal 5, in particular target 5.2,14 and taking into account the commitment to leave no one behind,  

Deeply concerned about violence against women and girls in all its different forms and manifestations worldwide, which is underrecognized and underreported, particularly at the community level, and its pervasiveness, which reflects discriminatory norms that reinforce stereotypes and gender inequality and the corresponding impunity and lack of accountability, reiterating the need to intensify efforts to prevent and eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls in the public and private spheres in all regions of the world, and re-emphasizing that violence against women and girls violates, and impairs their full enjoyment of, all human rights,  

Recognizing that violence against women and girls, including sexual harassment, is rooted in historical and structural inequality in power relations between men and women, seriously violates and impairs or nullifies the enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by women and girls and constitutes a major impediment to their full, equal and effective participation in society, as well as economic and political life,  
Bearing in mind that sexual harassment in private and public spaces, including in educational institutions and the workplace, as well as in digital contexts, leads to a hostile environment, which has a further negative impact on women and girls in the enjoyment of their rights and equal opportunities, has negative physical and mental health consequences for the victims and may negatively affect their families, 

 Recognizing the particular risk of sexual harassment faced by women and girls who suffer multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination,  Acknowledging that sexual harassment may be committed against girls who are working in accordance with national legislation or under other circumstances, while condemning child labour in all its forms, and reaffirming Member States’ obligations in accordance with international law to protect children, including from economic exploitation,  

Recognizing that women and girls are frequently subjected to violence, including sexual harassment, at work and that women and girls face increased risks of violence, including sexual harassment, in particular contexts, such as when working alone, when working in male-dominated workplaces, when working outside the normal working hours or when working in the same place where they live, bearing in mind the large number of women and girls worldwide who have reported being victims of sexual harassment in their workplace, and concerned that, owing to underreporting, the actual number may be much greater,  

Stressing the need to change social norms that condone violence against women and girls in the workplace, including through, but not limited to, training and awareness-raising campaigns conducted in the workplace, associated with a change in attitudes and increased knowledge about sexual harassment, particularly among men and boys,  

Deeply concerned that school-related violence against girls, including sexual violence and harassment on the way to and from and at school, such as violence perpetrated by school staff, including teachers, and other pupils, continues to deter girls from accessing and pursuing an education and, in many cases, the transition to and completion of secondary education, and that these risks may influence the decision of parents to allow girls to attend school,  
Underscoring that often lack of information and awareness, fear of reprisals, persisting impunity, insufficient recourse for violence against women and girls and negative social norms, including when leading to shame or stigma, as well as negative economic consequences, such as, inter alia, loss of livelihood or reduced income, prevent many women and, as applicable, girls from reporting or acting as witnesses and from seeking redress and justice in cases of sexual harassment,  

Deeply concerned about all acts of violence, including sexual harassment, against women and girls involved in political and public life, including women in leadership positions, journalists and other media workers and human rights defenders,  

Recognizing that the growing impact of violence against women and girls, including sexual harassment, in digital contexts, especially on social media, its impunity and the lack of preventive measures and remedies underline the need for action by Member States, in partnership with relevant stakeholders, and that such violence may include stalking, death threats and threats of sexual and gender-based violence, as well as related trends against women and girls in digital contexts, such as trolling, cyberbullying and other forms of cyberharassment, including unwanted verbal or non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature, with a view to discrediting women and girls and/or inciting other violations and abuses against them,  

Acknowledging the importance of combating trafficking in persons in order to prevent and eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls, including sexual harassment, and in this regard stressing the importance of the full and effective implementation of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime,15 as well as of the United Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons,16 

 Emphasizing that the lack or inadequacy of documentation, research and data, including disaggregated data, on sexual harassment against women and girls impedes efforts to design and implement measures, including, where appropriate, policies and legislation, to prevent and eliminate this form of violence,  

Stressing that laws addressing violence against women and girls, including sexual harassment, are often of limited scope, that those addressing sexual harassment do not cover many workplaces, such as those of domestic workers, including migrant domestic workers, and that gaps need to be addressed,  

Stressing also that, while the obligation and the primary responsibility to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms lie with the State, employers and education providers have the primary responsibility to take measures to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace and at educational institutions, respectively,  

Stressing further that States, employers and education providers should take immediate, appropriate corrective action after sexual harassment has occurred by holding perpetrators to account and providing access to timely and appropriate remedies and protection for victims and witnesses, bearing in mind that victims of sexual harassment may be subjected to further discrimination or reprisals,  Recognizing the increase in public awareness and advocacy on sexual harassment, and stressing the need to accelerate government action to tackle sexual harassment,  

Highlighting the crucial role that educational and awareness-raising programmes, policies and legislation play in preventing and eliminating sexual harassment against women and girls,  

Stressing the need to fully engage men and boys as strategic partners and allies in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls and in preventing and eliminating sexual harassment,  Recognizing the critical contribution of family members in combating violence against women and girls, including sexual harassment, by, inter alia, providing for a supportive environment for the empowerment of all women and girls, and that, in preventing such violence, the family can play an important role,

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