Sexual harassment is an unwelcome sexual behavior or contact that is offensive, humiliating or intimidating. It can be committed by writing, verbally or physically. It can also happen in person or online. Section 63 of the Ekiti State Gender-Based Violence (Prohibition) Law 2019 defines sexual harassment as an unwanted conduct of a sexual nature or other conduct based on sex or gender which is persistent or serious and demeans, humiliates or creates a hostile or intimidating environment and this may include physical, verbal or non verbal conduct.
Sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favours, and other visual, verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature which when submitted to or rejected—
(a) implicitly or explicitly affects a person’s employment or educational opportunity or unreasonably interferes with the person’s work or educational performance;
(b) implicitly or explicitly suggests that submission to or rejection of the conduct will be a factor in academic or employment decisions; or
(c) creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive learning or working environment.
Safety tips for children against sexual harassment:
Children should be encouraged to speak up at the slightest suspicion of impending abuse
Children should speak up and talk to a trusted adult when anyone tries to harass them
Children should be taught to understand the principles of self-protection and how the abuser thinks.
*Reporting to a higher authority, especially when the offender is in a high rank or position
*Self defence where necessary.
Penalty: (State applicable laws and jurisdiction)
Section 262 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State provides that any person who sexually harasses another commits a felony and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for three (3) years
Sexual Harassment was not specifically mentioned in the Child Rights Act, it however provides for other forms of sexual abuse other than defilement.
A person who sexually abuses or sexually exploits a child in any manner not already mentioned under this Part of this Act commits an offence is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of fourteen years.
Under the Criminal Code which is applicable in states like Ogun, Osun, etc, any person found guilty is liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than 2 years or a fine of not less than #100,000 or both.