Zero Tolerance on Sexual Harassment and Abuse within the Humanitarian Sector
Statement by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Principals
Endorsed by the IASC Principals on 17 March 2017
We, the IASC Principals, are deeply concerned by the findings of a survey conducted by the Humanitarian Women’s Network (HWN) revealing incidents of discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual abuse perpetrated against female aidworkers by their colleagues in the workplace. We are further concerned by the reported climate of impunity in which this discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual abuse take place.
Everyone has the right to live their lives free from discrimination, sexual harassment and abuse, including in the workplace.
As IASC Principals, we are committed to zero tolerance for discrimination, sexual harassment and abuse within all humanitarian work environments and, to this end, we will further strengthen our prevention, accountability and protection policies and structures. We will redouble our efforts to ensure that all our staff are aware of, and comply with, their rights to, and their responsibilities in maintaining, a workplace free of discrimination, harassment or abuse. We will hold perpetrators within our organizations to account, including a potential referral for prosecution, as appropriate. We will protect those reporting discrimination, exploitation and abuse from retaliation and we will provide more timely, consistent and appropriate support to enhance the safety of our staff, ensure their access to justice, and promote their well-being.
We will reinforce with concrete action our respective organizations’ duties of care to all staff to cultivate more inclusive, respectful organizational culturesin which all humanitarian personnel can work safely, in dignity and with respect.