Sexual harassment means any kind of unwanted sexual attention that has the intention of or the effect of being offensive, intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or troublesome.
Sexual attention can be perceived as voluntary and wanted by one person, but may be perceived as unwanted and difficult to reject by the other person. This is particularly important to be aware of in relationships where there is an asymmetrical balance of power, e. g. between a teacher and a student or a leader and an employee.
Sexual harassment in connection with studies or work can lead to impaired well-being, mental and physical health problems, and ruined education and careers.
Duty to prevent and follow-up
Employees and students must have a thoroughly sound learning and working environment.
The management of organizations and educational institutions is obliged to prevent sexual harassment and seek to avert students and employees from being subjected to harassment and other inappropriate behaviour. This should be carried out through mapping and risk assessment, and implementation of necessary measures that reduce the risk of harassment.
The place of study or work should also have clear and well-known procedures for how students and employees can report harassment and guidelines for how such alerts should be handled.