At the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Principals May 2018 meeting, the IASC Principals committed to a series of concrete steps to address Sexual Exploitation and Abuse and Sexual Harassment (see Chair’s statement of 1 June 2018). Their discussion set an ambitious agenda for action to strengthen the humanitarian sector’s approach to preventing and responding to sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) and sexual harassment (SH).
The IASC Principals welcomed continuous knowledge sharing of good practices to prevent, investigate and respond to SEA and SH and committed to immediate collective action to:
- Ensure a victim-centered approach to addressing SEA and SH;
- Promote positive change in organizational culture through strategic communications and role modeling;
- Improve referencing systems to stop transgressors from moving through the humanitarian sector;
- Strengthen sector-wide investigations capacity;
- Support collective activities of in-country networks to SEA and SH.
The IASC Principals also committed to visible leadership to address these challenges and oversee results.
Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, has taken over the role of IASC Principals’ Champion on PSEA and Sexual Harassment from Henrietta Fore, Executive Director of UNICEF. Mr. Grandi is looking forward to working with the IASC Principals on their joint journey towards tackling the root causes of sexual misconduct.
Building on the work of previous Champions, Filippo Grandi has identified the following three priorities for his Championship, which will run through to December 2020:
- Bolstering prevention
- Expanding safe spaces
- Promoting a respectful use of authority
To take these priorities forward, Filippo Grandi has outlined key initiatives in alignment with the IASC Championship Strategy on Protection From and Response to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA) and Sexual Harassment (SH) which envisions “a humanitarian environment in which people caught up in crises feel safe and respected and can access the protection and assistance they need without fear of exploitation or abuse, and in which aid workers themselves feel supported, respected and empowered to deliver such assistance in working environments free from sexual harassment.”
These initiatives include (i) holding a self-reflective session on values, culture and attitudes with IASC Principals; (ii) making the IASC commitment more visible, during the visits of Principals to the field; (iii) facilitating the sharing of good practices and resources on improving workplace culture; (iv) developing an interagency training for partners on protection from sexual misconduct; and (v) establishing a PSEA community outreach and communications fund for small grants to field-based organizations.
ECOSOC HAS 2019 Side Event: Progress and Actions to Protect from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse and Sexual Harassment
OCHA Fund for investigations into sexual exploitation, abuse, and sexual harassment
Tackling SEA and SH together through the IASC
Letter from Henrietta H. Fore, Executive Director, UNICEF and the Champion on SEA and SHA to the IASC Principals
Statement as Chair of the IASC, Mr. Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator