Sexual harassment is a problem in the Pacific but very little data exist to give a true picture of the extent of the problem.

Vanuatu Police Officers are also attending the Fourth Police Regional Training Program which also discussed sexual harassment and rape as part of the two-week workshop.

Funded by the Australian Federal Police and facilitated by the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre, the training course aims to equip officers with a thorough understanding of gender dynamics, the causes of violence against women and the relevant laws designed to combat gender-based violence.

Thirty police officers from 11 Pacific countries are attending the training workshop to help them understand violence against women and to deal sensitively with such cases.

The officers acknowledged that their institutions, like other organisations, have a sexual harassment problem.

Sometime those subjected to sexual harassment are unaware that they do not have to tolerate unwanted sexual behaviour.

The participants discussed the importance of having a sexual harassment policy in their workplaces so that everybody was clear on what was acceptable and unacceptable behaviour.

Asked if the officers’ organisations had sexual harassment policies and whether they had seen them, many of the participants were unsure or said they did not have such policies. READ MORE