UN adopts first resolution to fight sexual harassment
Photo courtesy of UN Women
The third committee of the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on sexual harassment, the first of its kind at the world body.
The resolution adopted on November 19, 2018, serves as a normative framework on work against sexual harassment, urging member states to condemn violence against women and girls, including sexual harassment, and pursue a policy of eliminating such violence.
It reaffirms that states should not invoke any custom, tradition or religious consideration to avoid their obligations with regard to the elimination of violence against women and girls.
What does the resolution say?
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 also 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
It calls on states to encourage digital technology companies, including internet service providers and digital platform to strengthen or adopt positive measures with a view to eliminating violence and sexual harassment in digital contexts
The resolution urges states to ensure the promotion and protection of the human rights of all women and their sexual and reproductive health, and reproductive rights
María Fernanda Espinosa Garces presided over the 73rd general assembly which opened on September 18, 2018, at the UN Headquarters in New York. Garces is just the fourth woman president of the UNGA in its 73 years of history. The theme for the 73rd UNGA was, 'Making the United Nations Relevant to All People: Global Leadership and Shared Responsibilities for Peaceful, Equitable and Sustainable Societies.'