The IASC Champions support the vision of 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 by any aid worker, and in which aid workers themselves feel supported, respected and empowered to deliver such assistance in working environments free from sexual harassment.
Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA) and Sexual Harassment (SH) must not be tolerated; they are an unacceptable breach of the fundamental rights of the people we serve and of those with whom we work as well as a deep betrayal of our core values.
This strategy sets out how the IASC Champions will lead to better address SEA and SH
The Best Practice Guide is operational guidance on how to set up and run an inter-agency community-based complaint mechanism to handle reports of sexual abuse and exploitation by aid workers. It compiles lessons learned, examples, and case studies gathered throughout the course of the 2013-2015 IASC pilot project on inter-agency CBCMs. The Guide is an easy-to-use living document that offers practical guidance, and includes global Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) on inter-agency cooperation in complaint handling. With the endorsement of the IASC Principals in June 2016, it fills a needed gap for high-level PSEA guidance transmitted to our representatives in the field. For more information about inter-agency PSEA initiatives, or to receive a hard copy of the Guide, please contact PSEA-CBCM@iom.int or email@example.com
The Global SOPs are technical guidance on how agencies can coordinate complaint referrals while operating an inter-agency community-based complaint mechanism (CBCM). The SOPs cover how to receive, assess, refer, and follow-up on complaints between agencies in line with diverse confidentiality and data protection policies. It also includes agreed-upon good practices in agency collaboration based on the Best Practice Guide to Establish Inter-Agency Community-Based Complaint Mechanisms. Drafted with the collaboration of 16 agencies and endorsed by the IASC Principals in June 2016, the SOPs fill a major gap in communication between agencies by providing agree-upon procedures for sharing sensitive information. Because the SOPs have already been aligned with agencies’ policies, CBCMs only need to minimally tailor this template to their local context, saving substantial time and effort for field staff. For more information about the Global SOPs, or inter-agency PSEA initiatives generally, please contactPSEA-CBCM@iom.intor firstname.lastname@example.org.
The attached Plan of Action (PoA) outlines a number of steps that should be taken by humanitarian actors towards preventing sexual exploitation and abuse and responding to survivor needs. This plan is part of an ongoing effort of the humanitarian community to strengthen PSEA and is continuously being refined on the basis of experience, pilot activities in selected countries and field visits to affected locations. The PoA is divided into three sections: prevention, response and management and implementation issues. It addresses protection from sexual exploitation and abuse during humanitarian crises by seeking to prevent exploitative and abusive behaviour from being perpetrated and addressing the conditions that make women and children vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.
The 'PSEA principles' outline the IASC core principles relating to sexual exploitation and abuse for all humanitarian practitioners. For all translations of the PSEA Principles, see here.
IASC Six Core Principles Relating to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse
“Sexual exploitation and abuse by humanitarian workers constitute acts of gross misconduct and are therefore grounds for termination of employment.
Sexual activity with children (persons under the age of 18) is prohibited regardless of the age of majority or age of consent locally. Mistaken belief regarding the age of a child is not a defence.
Exchange of money, employment, goods, or services for sex, including sexual favours or other forms of humiliating, degrading or exploitative behaviour is prohibited. This includes exchange of assistance that is due to beneficiaries.
Sexual relationships between humanitarian workers and beneficiaries are strongly discouraged since they are based on inherently unequal power dynamics. Such relationships undermine the credibility and integrity of humanitarian aid work.
Where a humanitarian worker develops concerns or suspicions regarding sexual abuse or exploitation by a fellow worker, whether in the same agency or not, he or she must report such concerns via established agency reporting mechanisms.
Humanitarian workers are obliged to create and maintain an environment which prevents sexual exploitation and abuse and promotes the implementation of their code of conduct. Managers at all levels have particular responsibilities to support and develop systems which maintain this environment.”
This six principles have been translated into nearly 100 languages, many thanks to Translators Without Borders.
 See Report of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Task Force on Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in Humanitarian Crises of 13 June 2002, Plan of Action, Section I.A.