In Flanders, 45 complaints have been filed for sexual harassment in sports clubs so far this year. The Flemish Minister in charge of sport, Philippe Muyters of the New Flemish Alliance (N-VA), attributed the number of complaints to the fact that each sports federation is obliged to have a focal point on the issue, Het Nieuwsblad reported on Monday.
“Flemish federations have made enormous progress last year in stepping up their fight against sexual harassment,” Muyters said. “The sports world wants to tackle the problem seriously, but much work remains to be done.”
Each of the 74 sports federations in the north of the country now has a focal point to which their members can turn for any question, remark, complaint or suggestion related to sexual harassment.
Every federation also needs to have disciplinary regulations and a organ tasked with enforcing them.
According to Het Nieuwsblad, 42% of the federations are compliant but there are still many that say they prefer the establishment of a joint competent authority on sanctions and exclusions.