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Hospitality Sexual Harassment Prevention Campaign

Sunday 9 September

Sexual Harassment Prevention Campaign Focuses On The Hospitality Industry

Human Rights Commission research has identified the hospitality industry as one experiencing a disproportionate amount of sexual harassment.

“The Commission has launched a Sexual Harassment Prevention Campaign designed to address the problem, “ said Chief Human Rights Commissioner Rosslyn Noonan.

“This Campaign is intended to raise awareness about what sexual harassment is and encourages employers and employees in the hospitality industry to take action against sexual harassment rather than just grin and bear it”.

Ms.Noonan said that Commission research shows that nearly 20% of the sexual harassment complaints handled by the Commission are from the hospitality industry, yet the industry employs only 4-5% of the workforce.

Further research, conducted by the Commission and internationally, indicates that within the industry there is a widespread belief that behaviour which constitutes sexual harassment is “just part of the job”.

“The industry seems to treat sexual harassment as an occupational hazard that can not be controlled. This is not the case and we want to remind employers that if nothing is done to prevent sexual harassment they may be found to be liable for it” said Ms.Noonan.

The Commission’s Sexual Harassment Prevention Campaign runs from 10-14 September 2001. It is composed of:

- A nationwide advertising campaign which employs “guerrilla” tactics - provocative street posters and radio ads, and leaflet drops - to grab the attention of the target audience. The campaign is designed to shake the complacent attitude towards sexual harassment which is prevalent in the hospitality industry.

- The provision of free sexual harassment prevention material and advice to employers in the industry. Over 5000 restaurants, cafes and bars throughout New Zealand will be sent the sexual harassment prevention kits.

- A Theatresports skit performed in restaurants and cafes in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch throughout the campaign. The skit is designed to raise awareness of sexual harassment with entertainment and humour.

- The presentation of the results of a study into sexual harassment in the hospitality industry. The study was conducted among workers in restaurants and bars and is intended to provide a snapshot of the features of sexual harassment in the New Zealand industry.

- Free sexual harassment prevention training for workers and employers in the hospitality industry.

- A media lunch to capture comments, ideas, and feedback about sexual harassment from high-profile youth figures who will be participating in the event.

“Last year’s Sexual Harassment Prevention Campaign led to an increase in enquiries and requests for training which indicates an increased awareness of sexual harassment. We are hoping that this year’s campaign is as effective in raising awareness amongst a hard-to-reach target group,” said Ms.Noonan.

“Every person has the right to work in a harassment-free environment. Raising awareness of sexual harassment and what can be done about it is an important step towards better protection of our rights”.

Ends


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