The European Parliament demanded this Thursday that the European institutions, including itself, better protect their victims of sexual harassment and regretted that “few cases are still reported” of these crimes in Parliament because the victims do not use the existing channels out of shame. , fear of reprisals or fear of not being believed.
The #MeToo movement of the European Parliament calls on candidates to commit in writing to combat sexual harassment
In a resolution that examines the progress against sexual harassment in Europe after several years of the “Me Too” movement to fight against the reporting taboo, MEPs regret – with 468 votes in favor, 17 against and 125 abstentions – that ” cases of sexual harassment continue to occur throughout the Union and within the European institutions, including Parliament, and that victims do not receive sufficient support and protection.
“These cases overshadow the functioning of the European institutions and undermine the confidence of the citizens of the Union in them,” they warned.
Victims in institutions such as the European Parliament, they warn, do not use the existing channels to denounce due to shame, fear of reprisals, general distrust towards the management of harassment or the absence of a comprehensive system of complaints, support and care for victims of sexual harassment.
This clearly demonstrates, they say, “the need to redouble efforts to raise awareness about reporting procedures and support for victims in relation to the prevention of all forms of sexual harassment.”
While acknowledging that there are “formal and informal structures” in Parliament to address bullying issues, MPs call for information campaigns that allow victims to recognize examples of bullying, that these structures be strengthened and that their promotion, visibility , its professionalism, its competences and its composition to guarantee that all victims can report confidentially and safely.
The text focuses on the absence of data on the number of cases of harassment in the institution.
At the beginning of 2023, EFE had access to this figure by aggregating the cases reported in the questionnaires for the approval of the institution’s annual accounts: according to these documents, 88 complaints were registered between 2013 and 2021 and only a minority of them ended in sanction for the perpetrators.
“The European institutions must behave as exemplary employers, establishing zero tolerance standards towards any type of harassment, working actively to prevent it, offering adequate protection and a comprehensive support mechanism to victims, combating all forms of discrimination and applying strictly its rules and imposing effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions”, the text requests.
Organizations such as the “Me Too” movement of the European Parliament have spent years demanding improvements in the current system, such as that the victims are attended from minute one and that the committee that listens to their testimony and that of the perpetrators to determine if there has been harassment is made up of by psychologists and experts in these crimes instead of by MEPs.