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Law criminalizing sexual harassment protects society, but not victims

28-12-2020

Al Diyar reported yesterday that campaigns have recently pushed for the enactment of the landmark law criminalizing sexual harassment (https://bit.ly/3nTfAxj), but that the law was met with skepticism and objection from jurists and legal experts. In this respect, Legal Agenda argued that the above law contains several flaws, mainly that it approaches harassment from a moral perspective aimed to protect society, rather than the victim. Lawyer at the Agenda, Kareem Namoor, explained that the criminal justice system in this case is the only resort, requiring the victim to put up with the police and investigating judges, which constitutes a deterrent and not an incentive for the victim to file a complaint against the harasser. Employers at the workplace can exploit and use the above law against their employees, and hence it gets back at the victim only, Namoor said. For her part, MP Enaya Ezzedine commented on the new law saying it provides protection for the victim and the witnesses, but stressed that it needs a societal support. The ministry of education, she maintained, has an important role to play in raising awareness on how to deal with laws, rights and duties. (Al Diyar, December 27, 28, 2020)

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