The harsh reality of sexual harassment in the Caribbean region is not a secret. Many experience it on a daily basis both in and out of the workplace. Often times, people do not speak about it or confront their harassers and some may pass if off as a cultural trait. It is time for persons to bite the bullet and address this problem.
Four students at the Human Rights Law Clinic at the Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad embarked on a “movement” to create awareness for sexual harassment in the workplace. In doing this, they created a handbook addressing different aspects of the topic. The handbook helps persons to define sexual harassment making it easier for persons to pinpoint the types of behaviour which constitute it.
In Trinidad and Tobago, there is currently no stand-alone legislation. However, there is a draft policy published by the Ministry of Labour and some guidelines published by the Equal Opportunity Commission. The handbook simplified these documents in easily digestible formats for persons to read. The policies were also critiqued and commented on.
The Handbook further enlightens on the remedies available to persons in the absence of stand-alone legislation and speaks on sexual harassment faced by domestic workers and “men too”.
Lastly, in the Caribbean region, Trinidad and Tobago has many precedents to follow. For example, Barbados and Belize have enacted stand-alone legislation for sexual harassment. The handbook urges the government of Trinidad and Tobago to step up and enact adequate legislation.
The Handbook is available online via the link:
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Readers are also urged to follow the Hugh Wooding Law School Human Rights Clinic – Social Media Pages to be updated on the great work that the clinic has been doing over the years. This year, the other groups at the clinic created an Activity book on the issue of discrimination against LGBT persons and a documentary addressing Mental Health. These are all available on the Clinic’s Facebook page.