Guidelines for Drafting Sexual Harassment Laws
last updated 13 July 2007

There are a number of online resources that provide guidance on drafting gender equality legislation, and sexual harassment legislation in particular.

In January 2003, the United Nations Development Program published Drafting Gender Aware Legislation: How to promote and protect gender equality in Eastern Europe and in the Commonwealth of Independent States (password required), a handbook for legislators and women's advocates in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and the former Soviet Union (FSU) region (description of 2005 version). This publication provides information concerning 

  • gender-aware legislation trends in the CEE/FSU region, including efforts to establish gender equality institutions or agencies;
  • the legislation cycle and points in this cycle at which non-governmental organizations, researchers and staff of national gender equality institutions can participate; 
  • checklists for reviewing existing legislation that affects women, including criminal, anti-discrimination and labor legislation prohibiting sexual harassment, and the enforcement of this legislation; 
  • a compendium of international standards in the area of gender equality.

The Caribbean Community has published Model Legislation on Sexual Harassment the drafting of which was funded by the Canadian International Development Agency.

The International Labor Organization has published a report on Substantive Provisions of Labour Legislation entitled "The Elimination of Discrimination in Respect of Employment and Occupation". This report advises national governments, when drafting legislation that protects against sexual harassment, to ensure that the legislation covers both quid pro quo sexual harassment and sexual harassment that creates a hostile working environment.

Several surveys of national laws and policies in the area of gender equality or violence against women provide information concerning the approaches taken by national governments to prevent and proscribe sexual harassment.

You can find more information concerning national approaches to sexual harassment law in the Sexual Harassment: List of Law and Policy Documents section of this website.