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Legislation Against Sexual Harassment Likely

China is now considering drafting a law to curb sexual harassment, announced Gu Xiulian, vice-president of the All-China Women's Federation and vice-chairwoman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, at a press conference Thursday.


China will further improve its legal system to better protect women's rights on the basis of the Criminal Law and other relevant codes, which have covered behaviors against women, said Gu.


"Sexual harassment is a kind of base act that insults women's personalities and infringes on their body rights. It has aroused wide concern from society and the news media are also fighting it," said Gu. "Things are on the right track."


Authorities are currently carrying out a legislation research project on sexual harassment, noted Gu, who called on the whole society to strengthen ethical and moral education.


China's existing Criminal Law stipulates that those who act indecently towards or insult a woman by force, threat or other means shall be sentenced to up to five years in jail or criminal detention.


The relevant departments are also thinking of adding sexual harassment to the country's women's rights and interests protection law.


A Chinese court recently tried the country's first case of sexual harassment against a woman, which had drawn wide attention from various social circles.


Given the rising trend of sexual harassment cases brought by women, the outcry for legislation is also becoming increasingly louder, analysts said.


(Xinhua News Agency August 15, 2003)


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