IASC Senior Focal Points on Sexual Harassment and Abuse of Aid Workers

IASC Senior Focal Points on Sexual Harassment and Abuse of Aid Workers

IASC Senior Focal Points on Sexual Harassment and Abuse of Aid Workers

Co-Champions on Sexual Harassment and Abuse of Aid Workers

In December 2016, the IASC Principals nominated Ms. Kate Gilmore of OHCHR and Ms. Lindsay Coates of InterAction, in the role of Co-Champion in response to the findings from the Humanitarian Women’s Network (HWN) survey on the prevalence of discrimination, sexual harassment and abuse of female aid-workers by their colleagues in the workplace. Since then, the IASC Co-Champions have been working closely together to advocate on the prevention of sexual harassment and abuse of aid workers and with IASC organisations to prompt enhanced governance on this issue. On behalf of the Co-Champions, the IASC secretariat chaired a Panel on Sexual Harassment and Abuse during ECOSOC HAS.  Ms. Kate Gilmore highlighted the new commitment to end the ‘toxic tolerance’ on this issue, Mr. Niels Scott, RC Georgia, shared his experience from a field leader’s perspective, and Ms. Megan Nobert, of Report the Abuse, highlighted her own experience and the personal impact of such abuse.

IASC Senior Focal Points on Sexual Harassment and Abuse of Aid Workers

In December 2016, the IASC Principals requested that the IASC agencies appoint agency-specific senior level focal points. This senior level network is convened by the Co-Champions and are tasked to take forward a system-wide survey, providing more systematic and deeper analysis, to inform an appropriate ‘road-map’ of action. ASG Muller is OCHA’s Senior Focal Points on Sexual Harassment and Abuse of Aid Workers

The first meeting of the IASC Senior Focal Points took place on 10 May 2017. In the meeting, it was agreed to organizationally respond to a checklist outlining best practices and policies as they pertain to preventing sexual harassment and abuse of aid workers. The Co-Champions have requested ‘snapshots’ of the current state of play, against the checklist, in the participating organisations, and are now analysing these to identify gaps, which could be addressed through the future work of the Senior Focal points. The Co-Champions will convene a meeting in October to determine how better to support and improve agencies’ existing policies and procedures, and to prepare a report – one year after the ‘zero tolerance’ commitment – to update IASC Principals on progress.   

Humanitarian Coordinators

In April 2017, the ERC circulated the IASC Principals’ statement to the Humanitarian Coordinators and strongly encouraged them to share the document with the HCT and broader in-country humanitarian community.  He also urged HCs to ensure that staff at country level are aware of our zero tolerance stance and informed on relevant governance structures and support available to them.

Media Interest 

There has been considerable media interest on the topic in recent months. Recent articles include the following:

Huffington Post: Top UN & NGO Officials Adopt Zero Tolerance Stance On Abuses Against Female Staff. Here’s What We Can Do Next http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/58db367fe4b0f087a3041e1b

IRIN: Time to confront sexual abuse and harassment in the aid sector:

http://www.irinnews.org/opinion/2016/12/05/time-confront-sexual-abuse-and-harassment-aid-sector

DEVEX: Sexual violence against female aid workers: How organizations can tackle it

https://www.devex.com/news/sexual-violence-against-female-aid-workers-how-organizations-can-tackle-it-89385

DEVEX: UN must end ‘toxic tolerance’ of sexual abuse of aid workers, top official says https://www.devex.com/news/un-must-end-toxic-tolerance-of-sexual-abuse-of-aid-workers-top-official-says-90534

Guardian article: It was like being in a boys' club': female aid workers on sexual harassment at work https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2016/oct/25/it-was-like-being-in-a-boys-club-female-aid-workers-on-sexual-harassment-at-work?CMP=share_btn_link

DEVEX: Advocacy NGO shining a light on sexual assault of aid workers set to close

https://www.devex.com/news/advocacy-ngo-shining-a-light-on-sexual-assault-of-aid-workers-set-to-close-90847

 

 

Upcoming Meetings

There are no upcoming events at this time.

Past Meetings

Oct
13
2017
New York City
15:00 to 17:00
May
10
2017
Geneva
15:00 to 16:30