Vietnam ministry proposes fines for sexual harassment at work

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Vietnam's labor ministry has recommended fines of VND50-75 million (US$2,400-3,600) for sexual harassment and other violations in the labor sector, VnMedia reported Thursday.

Under the draft decree recently introduced to gather public feedback, the violations subject to the fines include forced labor, maltreatment, and using underage workers.

Mistreatment of people working as housemaids will attract fines of VND5-10 million ($240-480), the online newspaper said.

The Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs has introduced the decree as part of the amended Labor Code taking effect this May. The code bans sexual harassment at the workplace.

However, several experts have told Thanh Nien that the ban does not provide a tight legal framework against the crime.

They said the amended code fails to define the act, while the Penal Code has no punishment for sexual harassment.

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Last month, the International Labor Organization and the ministry released the first-ever report about sexual harassment at the workplace. The report said sexual harassment was common with most number of cases happening in the healthcare and education sectors.

According to the report, more than 78 percent of victims of sexual harassment at the workplace are women and it mostly happens to women between 18-30 years old.

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