After a careful study of the opinions collected during the public consultation on legislation against sexual harassment launched by the New Macau Association (NMA) in March this year, the NMA concludes that the public backs the proposed legislation and largely shares a common view on the criminal part of our proposal.
In regard to the non-criminal (in workplace and education setting) part, the public views have varied. The NMA is aware of UN’s recommendation of the establishment of a territory-wide human rights institution in line with the Paris Principle to comprehensively protect human rights and to handle such complaints.
The NMA now announces the criminal part of the proposed legislation and is launching a petition-signing campaign to gather public support for legislation. Also, the NMA will try to persuade individual legislators to present the draft law to the plenary on our behalf at the upcoming legislative session.
It must be noted that that United Nations Committee against Torture (CAT) has asked the Macau government to “provide information on steps taken or envisaged to enact specific legislation prohibiting sexual harassment in all settings.” If this draft law is not adopted by the legislature or the government fails to act proactively on making laws, NMA Board member Jason Chao will visit Geneva in November this year to brief with the CAT in its 56th session on the situation in Macau.
Draft “Law against Sexual Harassment”
Article 1 (Sexual harassment)
Those who forcibly:
a) kiss, hug; or
b) touch the hips, breasts or other private parts of
the other individual before he or she can resist are punishable by imprisonment for up to 2 years.
Article 2 (Aggravation)
1. The penalty laid down in Article 1 is increased by one third if the victim:
a) is an ascendant, descendant, adopter, adoptee, relative or within the second degree of consanguinity of the offender, or is under the offender’s guardianship or trusteeship; or
b) is in a relationship of hierarchical dependence, economic or employment with the offender and the crime is committed with use of this relationship; or
c) Is under the age of 14.
Article 3 (Complaint)
1. The prosecution for the crime referred to as in Article 1 depends on a complaint.
2. In the case mentioned in Item b of Article 1, if the victim is under the age of 12, the prosecutor shall initiate the proceedings.