U.S. Statement on a Resolution on Preventing and Eliminating Sexual Harassment in the Workplace at the 2017 Commission on the Status of Women

Stefanie Amadeo
U.S. Deputy Representative to ECOSOC
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
March 24, 2017



The United States thanks Israel for taking the initiative to bring about the first CSW resolution devoted to addressing sexual harassment in the workplace. We are pleased to co-sponsor this resolution. It is particularly fitting that it is adopted during a CSW session on women’s economic empowerment in the context of employment. The United States places importance on addressing sexual harassment at work. In her statement to the CSW last week, Ambassador Haley affirmed the United States’ commitment to advancing women’s human rights and economic empowerment. This resolution commendably raises awareness about the issue and contains action-oriented solutions to address it.

The United States views sexual harassment as a form of employment discrimination that may amount to gender-based violence in the form of sexual assault, although most sexual harassment does not rise to the level of sexual assault. U.S. law recognizes that sexual harassment is a form of gender discrimination. We recognize that sexual harassment can occur not only in the workplace, but in work-related situations and in digital and online spaces, and that women, girls, men, and boys can be targeted.

We commend the resolution for noting that sexual harassment can cause detrimental physical and mental health outcomes.

We acknowledge the important role of governments in enforcing laws that prohibit sexual harassment. Insofar as work-related sexual harassment may encompass sexual coercion and violence, we emphasize the important role of laws and legal systems in providing adequate redress for victims.

Finally, the United States recognizes a distinction between child labor and legal work performed by children, and strongly opposes child labor, which is detrimental to children’s health, safety, morals, education, and well-being.

Thank you.