UNILAG students laud policy on sexual harassment, seek compliance

UNILAG.<br />Photo/buzznigeria

To provide a safe and secure environment for all students and members, the management of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), has adopted and published its policy on Sexual Harassment, Sexual and Romantic Relationships on its website.

The publication, according to some of the students of the university, was a laudable one, and all students, members of academic and non-academic staff, as well as the management of the university should be guided by the development.

According to the UNILAG’s authority, “the policy was adopted as part of its commitment to provide a safe and secure environment for all. Protecting the core values of human dignity, and reassuring the public of its unwavering commitment to academic integrity.”

The document, as shown on the website, revealed that the institution is strongly opposed to sexual harassment, as the policy was adopted to establish an institutional framework that encourages victims of sexual harassment to exercise their rights, as well as to also sensitise the university community to the evils of sexual harassment and thereby engender collective responsibility for eradicating it.

However, some of the students who spoke with The Guardian on the policy lauded the management for the good step, saying that it will bring order on campus.

A 200-level student of the school, from the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Akande Timothy, said if the policy would be strictly enforced, “public examples would be made of defaulters which would to some extent help to curb further occurrences.”

He said though the existence of the policy was a welcome development, the school “could also organise events to promote the awareness of the policy and bring trained and experienced people to talk to the students and advise them on topics relating to sexual harassment.”

Also, Olusegun Blessing a second-year student, from the Home Economics department, said: “Compliance is key. Victims should be treated well so that they can be very open in relaying their ordeal. There should be aware to ensure the safety of the general body, as it would also reduce the rate of occurrence of such inhumane act.”

Anuka Michael, also from Economics department said, “the policy should also be made known to the members of staff as total compliance is expected from all parties.”

Furthermore, the policy was also drafted to help maintain the dignity of the abused or harassed and enable them resist submission to its pressures by ensuring that victims of sexual harassment do not suffer additional harm and are provided appropriate redress and support to help them to overcome the effects of victimisation as quickly as possible.

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