Executive Committee - News details

25.10.2018

Sexual Harassment Working Group Meeting in Tokyo – 24 September 2018

The FIA Sexual Harassment Working group (SHWG) is a thematic working group created during FIA’s 2017 Executive Committee meeting held in Zagreb, Croatia. “Enough is enough!” was the message emerging from FIA when issuing its unanimously approved Declaration on Sexual Harassment, Discrimination and Retaliation in the Entertainment and Media Industries in Zagreb. Since then, the SHWG has held regular video conferences in order to share the latest developments and news regarding ongoing strategies and tools to tackle sexual harassment.

The SHWG met on Monday 24 September in Tokyo, Japan, in conjunction with the FIA Executive. It gathered delegates from Uruguay, the UK, the United-States, Sweden, Canada, Denmark and France.

The meeting started with reports from each union on their latest activity. Among the many topics covered was an update on the ongoing ILO survey on  Sexual Harassment in the Entertainment Industry; the development of guidelines for performers, especially in relation to nudity and simulated sex; as well as a discussion about mandatory trainings on sexual harassment in the audiovisual sector that become systematic in certain countries such as Sweden. Information about educational programs in art schools focused on professional behavior were also discussed; including a reflection around consent among dancers – a population socialized to accept touch from a young age – and the need to reflect on boundaries in these contexts.

The development of helplines and the efficiency of anonymous emergency call lines was examined collectively, with a preoccupation towards surpassing the obstacles preventing a wider use of such tools. The publication of Codes of Conduct was also largely discussed as a crucial tool, to be made as visible as possible, despite occasional resistance on the side of the employers.

With respect to future activities of the working group, a commitment towards communication and sharing good practices was taken. Participants identified International Women’s’ Day, on March 8, as an important opportunity to convey a common message about tackling harassment as unions. The preparation of a manual on sexual harassment for the FIA members was also identified as a concrete output for the working group. The manual should be a source of common language, a practical advocacy tool and a helpful blueprint for any union in the sector getting started with developing its own strategy to tackle sexual harassment at national level.