1. Sexual harassment is a private matter and should be settled at individual level.
Sexual harassment is not a simple sexually-motivated act but it is an act related with inequality of power.
To incur disadvantage of employment or sexual insult on others by sexual languages or action will deteriorate the employment environment. Article 12 (Prohibition of Sexual Harassment at Workplace) of “Law to promote the Equal Employment of Gender and Job and Home Dual Care” stipulates that “ Owner, supervisor or workers shall not make any sexual harassment at the workplace”. And in the Article 17-2 (Prohibition of Sexual Harassment), Basic Law for Women’s Development, it is stipulated that the head of national entities or owner of business shall take necessary actions such as preventive education for sexual harassment as specified in the Presidential decrees and report the result to the Minister of Gender Equality and Family. Consequently, sexual harassment is not a private matter but an issue of social affairs.
2. The criterion to determine sexual harassment is based on whether the offender had the intention of harassment rather than the impact on the offended.
The most important criterion in the judgment of sexual harassment is not the intention of the offender but the impact on the offended.
3. The contents of consultation for sexual harassment are treated with confidentiality.
Confidentiality is the principle of consultation.Furthermore, the contents of consultation can never be disclosed in the event of request by the interviewee (the offended), even if such disclosure serves public interest. Therefore, there is no need to be concerned about disclosure of the consultation details and avoid consultation. Nevertheless, interviewer can seek consent for disclosure from the interviewee explaining the purpose and meaning of the disclosure.As a matter of principle, it is certainly appropriate to anonymously disclose the case of harassment to protect the identity of the interviewee.
4. Sexual harassment is a type of gender discrimination.
Sexual harassment is acts or words concerning sexual matters that inflict upon others sexual insult or abhorrence.
Sexual harassment is an act of discrimination that not only inflicts on the offended shame and mental anguish but also disturbs the offended by subverting the atmosphere conducive to pursuing academic study or job in the usual way. Sexual harassment generally takes place when there is an unequal power relation.
Historically, sexual harassment was recognized as a typical case of discrimination against women in the situational context that the majority of sexual harassment offences were committed by men against women, who were relatively lower in social position than men.Nonetheless, recent emerging trend indicates that sexual harassment takes place not only between men and women but also between same gender of men and men or women and women.
5. It may be a case of sexual harassment when someone views pornography alone in the office by internet and others come across with such scene.
This case may correspond to visual harassment.Even if the intention was to watch pornography alone, such scene can be exposed to colleagues anytime when it takes place at the office where many other people work.Even if there was no intention to show it to others, it may correspond to a case of sexual harassment when someone views pornography in a public place of easy exposure to others at any time.
6. Sexual joke made by professors or instructors on students can be a case of sexual harassment.
The National Human Rights Committee Law strictly prohibits sexual harassment against workers, visitors, employees, and students at education organizations and education training institutions. Therefore, instructors’ sexual words or actions to students can be counted as sexual harassment. Furthermore, the same case applies to doctors’ words or actions to patients and public officials’ to civil petitioners.
7. In order for any act to be constituted as sexual harassment, it must be accompanied by physical body contact.
According to the Basic Law for Women’s Development, sexual harassment is defined as an abuse of one’s position or an act of making others feel sexually humiliated or disgusted in work-related setting by one’s sexual words and actions, even without any physical body contact. However, not all sexual words and actions but only those that make others subjectively feel sexually humiliated and disgusted constitute as sexual harassment.
8. Sexually-harassed men are also legally protected under the National Human Rights Committee Law.
Legal relief is granted with no regards to the gender of the victim in the case of a sexual harassment. Whether the victim of a sexual harassment is male or female, he or she can receive legal assistance from the law.
9. If the sexually harassed victim does not clearly express his/her dissent at the time of the incident, it is impossible to treat the personal harm done during the incident as a case of sexual harassment.
Even if the sexually-harassed victim did not clearly express his or her dissent, such expression of will is not the criterion for determining whether the incident counts as a sexual harassment, since it is possible to identify an undesirable act by the victim’s words and actions or the circumstances surrounding the situation.
10. The chief of public organization and its users are legally duty-bound to take preventive measures against sexual harassment.
According to the Basic Law for Women’s Development”, the chief of public organization and its users must implement sexual harassment awareness program at least once a year in order to prevent sexual harassment.
In Article 17-2 Basic Law for Women’s Development (Prohibition of Sexual Harassment), it is stipulated that the head of national entities or owner of business shall take necessary actions such as preventive education for sexual harassment as specified in the Presidential decrees and report the result to the Minister of Gender Equality and Family <Revised on January 18th, 2010>.