ICPC urges students to report sexual harassment in higher education institutions

ICPC urges students to report sexual harassment in higher education institutions

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offenses Commission (ICPC) has called on students in tertiary institutions in Nigeria to come forward and report cases of sexual harassment without fear of repercussions.

ICPC made this call during a one-day awareness workshop on sexual harassment in higher education institutions held at its headquarters on Wednesday.

Clifford Opara-Odu, secretary of the commission, said one of the main challenges facing the fight against sexual harassment in higher education institutions is the lack of reporting by victims due to stigmatization and fear of further victimization. He pointed out that there is.

“It is pertinent to point out that illegal benefits are not necessarily monetary, and it is unfortunate that sexual gratification has become a form of ‘illegal currency’ in many establishments. “It was discovered that staff members used their offices to solicit and receive sexual benefits from other staff and students in exchange for good grades and other favors,” Opara-Odu said.

“Unfortunately, fear of stigmatization or further victimization leads many people targeted by such demands to suffer dire consequences or receive benefits to which they would normally be even entitled. We are now in a situation where we have no choice but to give in to avoid rejection.

Opalaodu added that a culture of silence has allowed sexual harassment to flourish, but ICPC is working tirelessly to gradually change this culture by raising awareness and implementing appropriate policies.

According to him, Article 8 of the ICPC Act states that “anyone who corruptly demands, receives or obtains property or benefits of any kind for himself or for any other person shall be guilty of public corruption. be found guilty of the crime and sentenced to imprisonment.” 7 years”.

He further added that this awareness workshop will enable staff and students to appreciate the concept of sexual harassment and appreciate the enormity of the problem, as well as provide a platform for participants to understand their sexual harassment obligations. He said it was designed for. ICPC on abuse of power due to sexual harassment.

Mr Opara-Odu also disclosed that a Sexual Harassment and Abuse Response Team (SHART) has been established within the commission to coordinate investigations, prosecutions and awareness-raising activities regarding sexual harassment.

“Several reports of sexual harassment have been received and investigated by the commission, and prosecutions have been brought in some notable identified incidents,” he added.

Source: guardian.ng

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