Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA) by humanitarian staff (refer to Annex 2 for definition) is of particular risk in contexts characterized by violence, power imbalance, mass displacement, and dismantled family and societalstructures. It is a risk in Bangladesh, where refugees who have fled persecution in Myanmar and are now confined to the refugee camps where they are largely dependent on humanitarian assistance delivered by a range of UN, INGOs, and NGO partners.
The United Nations (UN) has a Zero Tolerance Policy against SEA. One of the priorities of the Rohingya refugee response partners in Bangladesh is to ensure any allegation of SEA is handled in a safe, confidential, and efficient manner.
This Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for SEA Complaint Referral in the Rohingya refugee response in Bangladesh provides guidance on:
• Step 1: Lodging and initial intake of a complaint.
• Step 2: Complaints follow-up by the PSEA focal points.
• Step 3: Referrals for immediate assistance.
• Step 4: Referrals for investigation and follow-up.
• Step 5: Reporting on SEA incidents.
This SOP is in line with the Global Standard Operating Procedures on Inter-Agency Cooperation in Community-Based Complaint Mechanisms, endorsed by the IASC Principals in June 2016, the Guidance Note on information sharing on allegations of SEA with the most senior United Nations official in country, and other commitments made by organizations (refer to Annex 2 for definition) to actively engage in PSEA, including the Secretary General’s Bulletin on SEA that notes there is zero tolerance towards SEA by humanitarian staff.
This SOP also outlines minimum practices and procedures on (1) recruitment and vetting of staff members; (2) partners involved in the refugee response; (3) PSEA Network membership; and (4) PSEA leadership.