IASC Principals' Statement on 'Zero Tolerance on Sexual Harassment and Abuse in the Humanitarian Sector'

Published Date

Message from Stephen O'Brien, Emergency Relief Coordinator

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to share with you the final version of our joint Statement, adopted in March 2017, re-affirming our collective commitment to zero tolerance on sexual harassment and abuse in the humanitarian sector. The statement is accompanied by a letter from Ms. Kate Gilmore, OHCHR, and Ms. Lindsay Coates, InterAction, who we nominated in December 2016 as the IASC Co-Champions to take this issue forward. We encourage you to share the statement widely within your organizations.

In our December meeting, we also agreed to ask the Humanitarian Coordinators and Humanitarian Country Teams to raise awareness and reaffirm zero tolerance on this issue with all staff at country level, and ensure they are informed on the governance structures and support available. I will now share the statement with the HCs and broader humanitarian community to ask for their support in driving the necessary culture change in the field level.

As noted in their letter, the Co-Champions are now preparing to call the first meeting of the Senior Focal Points. If you have not already done so, please share your agency nomination of a Senior Focal Point with the IASC secretariat for their onward sharing to the Co-Champions.

I look forward to our continued engagement on this critical issue. Together, we can and must safeguard the well-being of our staff and strengthen our own policies, structures and accountability to give them the protection they deserve.

With best regards,

Stephen O’Brien