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Ha Noi told to fight sexual harassment in public transport

Update: December, 18/2014 - 09:52
According to the survey, 57 per cent of women aged 16 and above considered streets the locations where sexual harassment against women was most likely to happen. — Photo Vnexpress

HA NOI (VNS) — The National Committee for Traffic Safety asked the Ha Noi People's Committee to combat sexual harassment against women and girls on public transport.

Accordingly, relevant agencies must identify locations, public transport routes and road sections where sexual harassment often occurs. The city must also improve lighting in areas where women are vulnerable to sexual assault, broadly announce telephone numbers for police in case of emergency and give instructions and advice on how to avoid and what to do when encountering sexual harassment.

Women should be provided training in necessary skills to protect themselves in public places, and authorities should encourage them to report sexual harassment and other physical abuse, the committee said.

Additionally, the city must tighten control over areas where sexual abuse is common in order to discover and punish criminals.

Deputy chairman of the Ha Noi People's Committee Nguyen Quoc Hung assigned the municipal Department of Transport, the police and the Ha Noi Transport and Services Corporation (Transerco) to implement the above tasks.

The request was made following a survey of 2,046 people recently conducted in Ha Noi and HCM City by ActionAid Viet Nam and the Research Center for Gender, Family and Environment in Development.

According to the survey, 57 per cent of women aged 16 and above considered streets the locations where sexual harassment against women was most likely to happen.

As many as 87 per cent of women and girls said they had experienced sexual harassment through actions such as whistling, teasing, comments on their appearance and staring at or touching sensitive parts of their bodies.

About 31 per cent of school-aged girls involved in the survey suffered sexual harassment on buses.

Deputy director of Transerco Nguyen Viet Trieu told the VnMedia e-newspaper that the city authorities had not specified the penalties for sexual harassment, so the company could only issue warnings or ban those at fault from getting on the bus.

Discovering violators was important, but it was even more important to have strong penalties in place, he said. — VNS

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