IASC gender marker improving humanitarian effectiveness PREVENTION OF SEXUAL EXPLOITATION AND ABUSEBY UN AND RELATED PERSONAL OCHA – AFGHANISTAN Gurcharan Virdee – IASC GenCap Adviser] E-mail: email@example.com Cell: +93 796 000 151
Agenda • SCENARIOS • To Serve with Pride (video) • DEFINITIONS • Six Core Principles of SGB 2003 • RIGHTS & OBLIGATION • THE IMAGE OF THE UN • QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Sexual Exploitation & Abuse Any actual or attempted misuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust for sexual purposes including but not limited to profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. Sexual abuse is the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions.
Sexual Harassment any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favour, verbal or physical conduct or gesture of a sexual nature, or any other behaviour of a sexual nature (including pornography, sexually-colored remarks) that has or that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offense or humiliation to another
Abuse of Authority Misusing a position of influence, power or trust to manipulate or coerce others into doing what you want. The UN does not allow UN staff or those paid by the UN to abuse their power i.e. contractors or sub-contractors.
Blaming women is unjust:Afghan context • Afghan Proverb – “For the women, only the house or the grave”. • PURDAH demands purity of the mind and body for girls and women. • The ASSUMPTION a woman must have done something wrong to be sexually abused and harassed i.e. clothes/dress, make up, behaviour, etc • The ASSUMPTION she is a bad if she is sexually harassed. • By blaming women – male behaviour is condoned and accepted, this allows men to continue to abuse and maintain their male privileges and power in the family, in society and at work. It does not promote gender equality. • Known individual man on SEA and sexual harassment by family, tribe or community, pressure not to report or deal with offence is due to the stigma of collective shame and dishonour.
Consequences of sexual harassment and abuse in the workplace • Psychological and mental stress – overtime serious physical and mental health problems. • Loss of confidence and self esteem. • Feelings of being inferior and internalised shame. • Family restrictions imposed on women i.e. to not work, go out, continue with education, etc. • Stigma, gossip, and bad reputation – ruin opportunities for future marriage. • Women do not want to work. • Women can self-harm (dependant on the severity of sexual harassment and over time).
Six Core Principles of the SGB 1. Sexual exploitation and abuse by staff and related personnel constitute acts of serious misconduct and are therefore grounds for disciplinary measures, including summary dismissal. 2. 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 in the age of the child is not a defense
Six Core Principles of the SGB 3. Exchange of money, employment,goods or services for sex, including sexual favors or other forms of humiliating, degrading, or exploitive behavior is prohibited. This includes any exchange of assistance that is due to beneficiaries.
Six Core Principles of the SGB 4. Sexual relationships between staff and beneficiaries of assistance, since they are based on inherently unequal power dynamics, undermine the credibility and integrity of the work of the United Nations and are strongly discouraged.
Six Core Principles of the SGB 5. Where a United Nations staff develops concerns or suspicions regarding sexual exploitation or abuse by a fellow worker, whether in the same agency or not, he/she must report such concerns via established agency reporting mechanisms.
Six Core Principles of the SGB 6. Staff and related personnel are obliged to create and maintain an environment that prevents sexual exploitation and abuse. Managers at all levels have a particular responsibility to support and develop systems that maintain this environment.
Marriage • The SGB does not allow sexual relationships with persons under the age of 18 with a view to marriage or when a marriage has been promised.
Why act against SEA? SEA violates human rights. SEA is prohibited by the UN Staff Regulations and Rules: SEA is ‘serious misconduct’. SGB (2003) - zero tolerance Penalty for violators: immediate loss of UN job/contract/volunteer position or immediate repatriation of any level of peacekeeping personnel.
Obligations to GoIRAand beneficiaries (W/G/B/M) • UN Role Model in institution building: free of sexual harassment, sexual exploitation and abuse of authority. • UN Role Model in humanitarian and development: UN must be ‘clean’ – no sex for food, no gender-bias or abuse in operations. • UN presence must respect human rights & dignity: no prostitutes, no legacy of HIV/AIDs, dishonoured women and girls, or deserted children.
Your Rights Confidentiality / anonymity. Discreet professional investigation of the incident. As needed medical, counseling, legal, social & material assistance. No repercussions if reports made in good faith are found to be untrue.
Your Obligations • Remember - your behaviour 24-7 reflects on the UN; • Comply with the SG’s SEA Bulletin & Code of Conduct. • Do the e-courses on gender equality, SEA and discrimination; • Report any concerns or suspicions regarding workplace harassment, sexual harassment, or exploitation & abuse of authority; • Respect confidentiality and cooperate with investigators.
Your Manager’s Responsibility • Be a role model of good behaviour • Ensure staff is oriented on their rights, obligations and SEA/HR focal points • Monitor staff compliance to UN policy • Address incidents with fairness and impartiality • Ensure the investigation and all actions are confidential • Ensure there is no staff retaliation – address safety and stigma issues
Taking Action: Sexual harassment - Informal Tell the offender that his/her behaviour is causing distress; Keep notes (any witnesses) Have a confidential discussion with someone you trust; Consult the UN Stress Councillor, your HR Focal Point, or a senior staff member.
Taking Action - Formal UN Stress Councillor – UNDSS Your Supervisor or Your Supervisor’s Supervisor Your Human Resources Focal Point UNDP process as example: File written complaint within 6 months of last incident (workplace harassment, abuse of authority, sexual harassment or SEA). This can go up to the UNDP Ombudsperson for mediation. Allow 3 months for Ombudsperson response, possibly longer.
Reporting Procedures • None currently for OCHA – consider national male and female focal points (best if staff select the national focal points) • All allegations or suspects SEA cases are managed by: Conduct and Disciplinary Unit ValentenGatzinski Office of the Chief of Staff UNAMA
Summary of Key Messages • Sexual exploitation and abuse are unacceptable and cause serious harm; • The purpose of the SGB is to protect the vulnerable; and • Individually, we can play a role in addressing the problem, principally by taking the issue seriously and reporting suspicions or concerns.
http://www.interaction.org/courses/sea101/index.html More Information For more information, visit the website of the ECHA/ECPS UN and NGO Task force and those listed below on PSEA: • www.un.org/pseataskforce • https://intra.so.undp.org/Pages/PSEAAwareness.aspx • http://www.interaction.org/courses/sea101/index.html • Report by HAP International on Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by aid workers (2012): http://www.hapinternational.org/news/story.aspx?id=218
Q & A Thanks