Throughout this knowledge module, reference to certain provisions or sections of a piece of legislation, part of a legal judgment, or aspect of a practice does not imply that the legislation, judgment, or practice is considered in its entirety to be a good example or a promising practice.

Some of the laws cited herein may contain provisions which authorize the death penalty. In light of the United Nations General Assembly resolutions 62/14963/16865/206, and 67/176 calling for a moratorium on and ultimate abolition of capital punishment, the death penalty should not be included in sentencing provisions for crimes of violence against women and girls.

Other Provisions Related to Domestic Violence LawsResources for Developing Legislation on Domestic Violence
Sexual Harassment in Sport Tools for Drafting Sexual Harassment Laws and Policies
Immigration Provisions Resources for developing legislation on sex trafficking of women and girls
Child Protection Provisions Resources on Forced and Child Marriage
Other provisions related to dowry-related and domestic violence laws
Related Tools

Overview and Core Elements of Laws on Sexual Harassment in Provision of Goods and Services

Last edited: January 13, 2011

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Legislation prohibiting the sexual harassment of women and girls in the course of accessing goods and services is also an important area to consider for legislation. The European Union has been proactive in this regard, through the issuance of Directive 2004/113/EC, implementing the principle of equal treatment between men and women in the access to and supply of goods and services. This directive specifies that sexual harassment in the provision of goods and services is a form of prohibited discrimination.

The European Union directive covers many of the key areas that should be included in legislation, including:

  • Ensuring that judicial and/or administrative procedures are in place to enforce the prohibition on discrimination/harassment;
  • Provision for effective, proportionate compensation and/or reparation related to damages and losses suffered as a result of the harassment and provision for dissuasive penalties for perpetrators;
  • Placing the burden of proof in civil proceedings on the alleged perpetrator;
  • Protections against retaliation;
  • Provision for dialogue with key stakeholders;
  • Ensuring that a designated governmental body has oversight of the issue and has the power to provide assistance to victims, to collect data, and to publish appropriate reports on the topic; and
  • Ensuring that the prohibition of sexual harassment applies to both public and private interactions involving the provision of goods and services.

Models and examples for drafting specific provisions on each of the above principles can be adapted from laws in the employment or anti-discrimination context.