June 21, 2024

ICPC develops model anti-sexual harassment for tertiary institutions

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ICPC develops model anti-sexual harassment for tertiary institutions

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) says it has developed a model anti-sexual harassment policy suitable for adoption by tertiary education institutions in the country.

This was the outcome of a capacity-building training organised for members of the Independent Sexual Harassment Prohibition Committees of tertiary education institutions held in Uyo.

The training was organised with an Abuja-based Non-Governmental Organisation, Gender Mobile Initiative.

Speaking at the training, Ms Omowumi Ogunrotimi, the Executive Lead Director of Gender Mobile Initiative, said that the draft anti-sexual harassment policy was jointly designed with ICPC with support from development partners.

According to her, the draft policy which had been approved by the Federal Ministry of Education, would fill the gap created by the lack of credible, internal grievance remedial programmes for any person facing sexual harassment challenges on campuses.

She said the policy involved the use of Campus Pal APP, a discreet online reporting platform with multi-purpose resources available for users.

The lead director said that the platform could be used by students to report cases of harassment for prompt and effective response by their institutions.

Also speaking, Adenekan Shogunle, an ICPC Sexual Harassment and Abuse Response Mentor said the rate of sexual harassment in tertiary institutions was alarming.

“The situation requires drastic measures to combat, we need to join hands to restore sanity in our education institutions.

“Despite the brave and determined efforts of heads of tertiary education institutions and law enforcement agencies, cases of sexual harassment have continued to soar.

“Educators have a fiduciary relationship of trust with students, it is worrisome lamented that some misguided educators still see their young female students as ‘fringe benefits.

“They abuse the power and authority of their position as educators without remorse or fear of consequences,” he said.

Shogunle observed that most institutions had enacted staff codes of conduct but did not have a specialized anti-sexual harassment policy spelling out credible grievance remedial procedures that would embolden victims to report cases.

“Because of this, many students and their sympathisers resort to self-help by recording and posting such cases on social media in their search for justice. The unintended consequences of such indiscriminate postings are to discredit such institutions and devalue the quality of education in Nigeria.

“ICPC has a statutory mandate to enforce the law through investigation and prosecution and to prevent corrupt practices through review of systems and processes that aid them.

“We do this by advising, recommending and supervising the adoption of measures to prevent or reduce corrupt practices by heads of institutions,” he said.

He said that ICPC under the watch of Dr Musa Adamu had zero tolerance for sexual harassment, abuse of office any other form of corrupt practice.

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