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. In their PSEAH Strategy and related Acceleration Plan, IASC Champions set key objectives and priorities to address sexual exploitation and abuse and sexual harassment.
In January 2022, Mr. Andrew Morley, Chair SCHR (President and CEO World Vision International) assumed the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Championship on Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse and Sexual Harassment (PSEAH) taking over this role from Dr. Natalia Kanem, Executive Director, UNFPA, IASC Champion 2021-2022.
To further these objectives and build on the work of previous Champions, the IASC External PSEA Review, the draft IASC 2022-2026 strategy, and an extensive consultations process, SCHR priorities lie across three domains:
An affected population-focused priority
A country-level priority
A systems improvement priority
SCHR recognizes a number of other critical initiatives underway which are distinct from but related to the Championship priorities and will support these initiatives where capacity allows (see appendix for more information). The priorities are further designed to bolster and support the safeguarding coordination roles of OCHA and the IASC Secretariat. Finally, the chosen priorities reflect the contributions that a first NGO Championship can bring with a focus on community-based, operational impact across the humanitarian ecosystem.
SCHR commits to ensuring continuity between Championships, with a review on progress at the 6-month mark, early identification of the next Champion and consideration of extended transition if needed to ensure continued momentum and effective handover.
- Affected Population-Focused
The Champion will lead the IASC to agree upon a definition of a victim/survivor Centred approach, its main principles, and key entities/actions involved in its implementation including prevention work, investigations, and response to SEAH violations.
The Champion will support the development of an institutionalised five-year project to centrally employ and deploy IASC PSEA coordinators to the 15 highest risk contexts and mobilise political support and additional donor funding for it.
- System Improvement
The Champion will lead the continued process of culture change started under the UNHCR and UNFPA Championships, building on the existing work of SCHR to ensure that the sector actively evidences a zero-tolerance approach for inaction on SEAH.
For more details see IASC PSEAH Championship Priorities, Andrey Morley/SCHR 2022
IASC Principals endorse IASC Vision and Strategy: Protection from sexual exploitation and abuse and sexual harassment (PSEAH) 2022−2026
Exploring an Evidence-Based Analysis of SEA Risk
Dr. Natalia Kanem's reflections on IASC PSEA Championship
Appointments : Joyce Msuya, Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator; Andrew Morley, 2022 IASC Champion for PSEAH
Let's all be Champions in Ending SEA - message from Dr. Natalia Kanem, Executive Director and IASC Champion on PSEA