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Public feedback sought on draft Sexual Harassment Bill

Public feedback sought on draft Sexual Harassment Bill

Public feedback sought on draft Sexual Harassment Bill

The Cayman Islands Government has announced that the Draft Sexual Harassment Bill, 2023 has now been published as a White Paper for public consultation. The White Paper will remain open for comments and feedback from the public. Before it becomes a law, the draft Bill was released to allow for thorough consultation while it remains easily amendable.

Premier and the Minister for Gender Affairs, Hon. Wayne Panton JP, MP, said the Government has been working through several versions of a Sexual Harassment Bill designed to prevent, deter, and hold individuals accountable for sexual harassment offences: “This bill seeks to provide individuals with protection from sexual harassment and sets out requirements and duties for employers, institutions and associations,” he said.

What is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment is unwanted or unwelcomed behavior of a sexual nature that is offensive, humiliating, or intimidating; or that creates a hostile environment. This conduct can be verbal, physical or by gesticulation (offensive gestures). It may be subtle or direct; and can occur in-person/face –to-face, or electronically/online, in audio, digital images or written format. Anyone can experience sexual harassment, regardless of their gender, sex, social status, age, or other personal characteristics.

What is the Sexual Harassment Bill?

The proposed Bill seeks to provide for the prevention of sexual harassment through a stand-alone piece of legislation. Stand-alone (unique) legislation means an entirely new law or number of laws created because existing legislation does not cover the full scope. This Bill, when it becomes an Act, will serve to aid victims and to ensure perpetrators are held accountable, as well as to generally address this societal problem.

Members of the public can submit their comments for consideration via email to genderequality@gov.ky  (with the subject heading: Sexual Harassment Bill Public Consultation 2023), or by completing the Survey on the Public Consultation Hub.

At the end of the consultation period, feedback will be collated, analysed and incorporated into the draft Sexual Harassment Bill for consideration by Cabinet and Gazettal later.

The draft Sexual Harassment Bill, 2023 can be read here:  https://www.gov.ky/publication-detail/sexual-harassment-bill-2023

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