A Mexican state congress has banned MPs from touching and hugging to prevent possible sexual harassment.
The Congress of the State of Guanajuato in central Mexico has issued an updated code of ethics for representatives and civil servants that includes a ‘dignified behaviour’ article.
According to reports, the article bans politicians from “physical contact of a sexual nature, such as touching, hugging, kissing and grabbing”.
The measures also included making people feel uncomfortable by offering gifts and showing preferential treatment to certain workers, according to local media.
According to the National Statistic and Geography Institute (INEGI), at least 23,542 people left their jobs due to harassment during the first three months of 2019 in Mexico.
Workers aged between 15 and 29 are the most affected, with 14,800 reported cases.
Congressman Jesus Oviedo of the conservative National Action Party told local media that the new measures are intended to moderate relationships between representatives and civil servants in parliament and avoid situations which could be viewed as sexual harassment.
He added: “What we want to see is appropriate conduct between representatives here in congress, and obviously there are many ways of expressing ourselves properly.”
However, not everyone agrees with the move and some politicians called it old fashioned.
Raul Marquez of the left-wing National Regeneration Movement (Morena) party said: “Messing around in people’s private lives is something that is very delicate and we are not here to introduce old-fashioned rules in these kinds of situations.”
According to local media, the updated code of ethics has since been withdrawn to undergo further amendments. Oviedo said the measures needed clearer outlines to avoid misinterpretation.
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