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HK gov't to introduce Sex Discrimination (Amendment) Bill 2014

Xinhua, June 18, 2014 Adjust font size:

The government of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Wednesday announced that it will introduce the Sex Discrimination (Amendment) Bill 2014 into the Legislative Council (LegCo).

The aim is to amend the Sex Discrimination Ordinance to protect service providers from sexual harassment by their customers.

Currently, under the ordinance, it is unlawful for a service provider to sexually harass a customer, but the Ordinance does not render sexual harassment of a service provider by a customer unlawful.

A government spokesman said studies conducted by relevant organizations showed that practitioners in certain service industries are particularly prone to sexual harassment by customers.

"Based on recommendations made by the Equal Opportunities Commission, we propose to render any sexual harassment by customers against providers or prospective providers of goods, facilities or services unlawful.

"Considering the job nature of flight attendants, we further propose to extend the application of the ordinance to the sexual harassment between service providers and customers to include that taking place on a Hong Kong registered ship or aircraft while outside Hong Kong," he said.

The bill will be introduced into LegCo on June 25, the spokesman said, adding that if the bill is passed by LegCo, legal protection for hundreds of thousands of employees in the service industries will be enhanced.

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