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Jiangsu Amends Law to Define Sexual Harassment 

The legislature of the eastern province of Jiangsu has amended the law to clearly define sexual harassment and allow complainants to sue.

The Standing Committee of the Jiangsu Provincial People's Congress on Thursday passed the revised Jiangsu Provincial Measures for Implementing China's Law on Protection of Women's Rights, saying "sexual harassment of women in the form of spoken and written language, images, electronic information and bodily gestures is prohibited."

The measures allow those who claim that they have been harassed to report such cases to employers, authorities and the police, which must prevent or stop such behavior. Women can also sue those they contend harassed them.

Although sexual harassment was included in an amendment of the national law in 2005, the legislation didn't clearly define harassment, which made it difficult to prove in court, said Wang Lasheng, vice chairman of the Legal Affairs Committee of the Jiangsu Provincial People's Congress.

"A clear definition of the forms of sexual harassment will definitely help law enforcement and improve victims' awareness of self-protection," said Wang.

Defining sexual harassment at the local level was a welcome attempt to supplement the national law, said Wang, adding that similar statutes have been passed in Shanghai, Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Shaanxi and Anhui provinces and Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. These laws allow complainants to file claims or sue.

(Xinhua News Agency January 22, 2008)

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