MEDIA RELEASE: AUSTRALIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION REPORT INTO SEXUAL HARASSMENT

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THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION AND TRAINING
SHADOW MINISTER FOR WOMEN
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY
 
THE HON LINDA BURNEY
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FAMILIES AND SOCIAL SERVICES
SHADOW MINISTER FOR PREVENTING FAMILY VIOLENCE
MEMBER FOR BARTON
 
SENATOR CAROL BROWN
SHADOW MINISTER FOR DISABILITY AND CARERS
SENATOR FOR TASMANIA

SENATOR LOUISE PRATT
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR UNIVERSITIES
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR EQUALITY
SENATOR FOR WESTERN AUSTRALIA

AUSTRALIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION REPORT INTO SEXUAL HARASSMENT

The Australian Human Rights Commission Report into Sexual Harassment in Australia shows that cultural and societal change is needed in every sector, at every level, to end sexual harassment.
 
The report made some very sobering findings which illustrate the prevalence and pervasiveness of sexual harassment.  It really is an epidemic.
 
Almost two in five women and one in four men said they have been sexually harassed at work in the past five years.
 
Seventy-two per cent of Australians have been sexually harassed at some point in their lifetimes – 85 per cent of women and 57 per cent of Australian men over the age of 15.
 
LGBTIQ people, First Nations people and people with disability were also more likely to be sexually harassed.
 
This report shows a need for a fundamental shift in cultural attitudes and behaviour, in particular towards women and members of the LGBTIQ community.
 
Low reporting rates show that many workers do not feel comfortable seeking support in their workplaces.
 
Employers have a responsibility to provide a safe work environment for their employees.  They have a responsibility to ensure staff and colleagues are able to seek support, and that inappropriate behaviour is properly addressed.
Sexual harassment does not need to involve malice or ill-intent. No sexual harassment should be “part of the job”, or dismissed as “just a joke” or “compliment”.
 
Every sector – from retail and hospitality, to corporate boardrooms, media, and government – everyone should be free of harassment in their workplace.
 
Labor’s National Strategy for Gender Equality identifies preventing sexual harassment as a key national priority.
 
Labor remains committed to placing a national focus on the prevention of sexual harassment in our workplaces, on our university campuses, residential colleges, and online.
 
We will work to ensure that victims of sexual harassment are supported through our court system.
 
And we are committed to ensuring that individuals who are disproportionately vulnerable to sexual harassment – including migrant women, First Nations women, women with disabilities and members of the LGBTIQ community – have access to support.
 
If you are experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace you can call the Australian Human Rights Commission Information Service on 1300 656 419.  
 
We encourage people to make a submission to the National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces here: 
 
https://www.humanrights.gov.au/submissions-national-inquiry-sexual-harassment-australian-workplaces 
 
WEDNESDAY, 12 SEPTEMBER 2018