Q: The law prescribes that every organization adopt the code but how do we go about doing it?
A: Step by step instructions on how to comply with the law. (see here)
Q: For public sector organizations, what level should an inquiry committee cater to?
A: The Federal and Provincial Ministries will have their own committees, each department, semi-autonomous and autonomous bodies a linked to a ministry should have their own committee. The Ministries plus departments can decide to have the committees at the district level if necessary.
The Ministry of Education will send instructions to each educational institution under it to form their own committee; similarly the Ministry of Health will have a committee constituted at every hospital plus medical facility under it.
Q: What if an organization cannot identify three people for the Inquiry Committee?
A: The management can always co-opt one or more members from outside the organization. This could be from any civil society organization, union councillor or any other respectable community member.
Q: What if a complainant doesn’t trust the committee members or the management?
A: In such circumstances a complainant can directly go to an Ombudsperson (to be set up soon by the Federal and Provincial Governments).
Q: What if a Complainant is lying?
A: If the Inquiry Committee decides in favour of the alleged harasser it doesn’t mean that complainant is lying and this alone should not constitute mala fide intentions. There has to be clear evidence of fabrications with the intentions of defaming the other in order for it to be considered mala fide. In that case the management should refer the case, with evidence, to the Ombudsperson.
Q: Is it necessary for small organization also to adopt the code?
A: Even though the law does not specify any minimum number of employees that is required to adopt the code, however smaller organizations can adopt a simplified version of this code given on the “Home” page of AASHA’s web site.