Minister seeks amendment of sexual harassment law

KIGALI - The Minister of Labour and Public Service, Anastase Murekezi, has expressed the need to amend the current laws related to sexual harassment at workplaces saying the current laws are outdated.
Hon. Anastase Murekezi addressing parliament on Tuesday (Photo; J. Mbanda)
Hon. Anastase Murekezi addressing parliament on Tuesday (Photo; J. Mbanda)

KIGALI - The Minister of Labour and Public Service, Anastase Murekezi, has expressed the need to amend the current laws related to sexual harassment at workplaces saying the current laws are outdated.

Murekezi made the remarks recently while addressing Parliament. The 2008 Public Service Commission report had highlighted cases of sexual harassment in public offices.
“Sexual harassment is a complex issue done mostly by the superiors against their vulnerable juniors. In this case, it becomes difficult to monitor it,” said Murekezi.

“Currently, Rwanda uses the 1982 law against such crimes. This law is outdated and needs to be amended because the penalties in the law are so minimal compared to the gravity of the crime”.

He said that the maximum punishment is a fine of Rwf 200,000 and a maximum jail sentence of five years.

“However, we call on the victims to report such crimes so that whoever is involved is highly punished as we wait for new measures against such crimes,” said Murekezi.
He also noted that there is a presidential decree coming out soon that will put in place measures against sexual harassment at workplaces.

Murekezi told the parliament that so far, the Public Service Commission had received only five complaints of sexual harassment which have been investigated and those involved had been punished.

Sexual harassment normally referred to as any unwanted physical, verbal or visual sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other sexually oriented conduct which is offensive or objectionable to the recipient.

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