The Nigerian Population Commission has warned its ad hoc staff against sexual harassment during the upcoming population and housing census, scheduled for May 3 to 5, this year.
The warning is contained in the NPC’s 2023 census training curriculum.
Chapter Six of the curriculum deals with ‘Prevention and Prohibition of Sexual Exploitation, Harassment and Abuse.’
The NPC noted that sexual exploitation, harassment and abuse have many dimensions and manifestations that happen mostly in the workplace or learning environment and often with women and girls as victims.
The commission acknowledged that for the 2023 PHC, sexual harassment is likely to occur during the various phases and locations of training or during the field conduct of the main headcount, adding that perpetrators were likely to be those at leadership positions of various levels.
The NPC gave the assurance that there would be zero tolerance for sexual exploitation or abuse during the census, vowing that any of its staff caught in the process shall be dismissed.
It said, “Globally, at the United Nations and across different spaces of human interactions, sexual harassment is condemned in the strongest terms, unacceptable and punishable by law in some countries.
“For the entire census process, there will be zero tolerance for all forms, dimensions and manifestations of sexual harassment. Accordingly, functionaries, irrespective of their participatory position or level (whether an NPC staff or ad hoc) caught engaged in this act directly or indirectly, shall be dismissed from the census work or operation.
“Also, functionaries are encouraged to report all forms of sexual harassment or experiences to the Honourable Federal Commissioner at the state level and or the Census Manager at the headquarters with leading information on the perpetrator(s).
“Therefore, all personnel that will be involved or engaged in the 2023 PHC should resist engaging in all forms of sexual harassment throughout the exercise to safeguard the integrity at the workplace and quality of data collection.”
The Prevention of Sexual Exploitation, Harassment and Abuse training was mandatory for all NPC personnel inducing consultants, individual contractors, stand-by, ad hoc and persons who would work for the NPC on the 2023 PHC.