दिल्ली यूनियन ऑफ जर्नलिस्ट ने प्रेस काउंसिल ऑफ इंडिया, राष्ट्रीय मानवाधिकार आयोग एवं राष्ट्रीय महिला आयोग को पत्र लिखकर कार्यस्थल पर महिलाओं के यौन उत्पीड़न रोकने के लिए सभी मीडिया संस्थानों में एक निश्चित समय के अंदर आंतरिक शिकायत समिति गठित करने की मांग की है. नीचे पत्र का पूरा पाठ दिया गया है.
The Delhi Union of Journalists is deeply concerned at the growing number of cases of sexual assaults and harassment occurring in media organizations in the country. It is an unfortunate fact that many women employees feel insecure at work and are subject to harassment by way of inappropriate remarks, sexual innuendo and demands for sexual favours in return for promotions and plum assignments, to actual physical harassment and assault. It is high time that media organizations take this problem seriously, devise preventive strategies, create redressal mechanisms and foster a non-sexist culture at the workplace. The message must go out loud and clear to all employees, including managers, editors and others in authority, that sexual harassment will not be tolerated.
We demand that, in accordance with the provisions of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, every media organization must immediately set up an Internal Complaints Committee within a stipulated timeframe. Information regarding this Committee should be circulated to all employees and its rulings on complaints should be made public. Managements must not shield those who use their positions of power to prey upon their juniors. They must protect and defend the rights of those who are vulnerable. Women who file complaints must be assured that their employment is not at risk. At least the Vishaka guidelines must be honoured in workplace.
As the Tehelka episode has revealed, most organizations have no mechanisms to address complaints and Internal Complaints Committees are set up post facto that invite criticisms of handpicking members who may favour the accused, casting doubts on the impartiality of the outcome of such complaints.
We further demand that all media organizations ensure the safety of employees working on late night shifts by providing safe transport to their homes. The practice of out-contracting transport arrangements endangers the safety of employees and should be curbed.
The onus of providing a safe working environment in which the best journalism can flourish lies on the owners, managers and editors of media establishments.
While we are monitoring the situation in Tehelka, where some action is in progress, following the FIR, we now call for immediate step to end the rot in the media and take urgent steps.
Amit Prakash Singh