The United Nations has a zero-tolerance policy toward Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA).
These ToRs take into consideration the Iraq SOPs for Recording and Processing SEA Complaints which defines the process of receiving and referring a suspected or an alleged Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA) complaints committed by humanitarian/development actors, which include UN Agencies/Missions and partner INGO/NGOs, as well as non-UN affiliates, including law enforcement actors in Iraq.
The UN Secretary-General's Bulletin ST/SGB/2003/13 on “Special measures for Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (PSEA)” (9 October 2003) calls for reinforced action by all UN agencies and partners to protect beneficiaries of both humanitarian and development assistance from sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA). This call is further reinforced by the IASC 2018 PSEA Strategy, complemented by the 2018 IASC Plan for Accelerating Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in Humanitarian Response at Country-Level. The 2018 IASC acceleration plan for PSEA calls for collective action and investment by IASC members in all countries with Humanitarian Response Plans or Refugee Response Plans. The plan seeks to achieve three key outcomes: 1) safe and accessible reporting, 2) quality assistance for survivors of SEA, and 3) enhanced accountability including investigations. To deliver these outcomes, the plan proposes an enhanced PSEA structure at the country level that builds on existing good practice in the field and contributes to a broader accountability strategy.
At the country level, the 2018 IASC acceleration plan proposes a structure (see figure 1 below) with the UN Country Team (UNCT) or Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) as the senior-level body holding primary accountability, decision-making and oversight authority for PSEA activities. In this capacity, the UNCT should adopt a PSEA Steering Committee for the inter-agency PSEA Network to provide direction, review progress, address obstacles, engage relevant stakeholders, and provide overall support to prevent and respond to SEA allegations. In Iraq, it has been decided that this function will sit within the UNCT.
To this end, in 2016, the Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator (RC/HC) for Iraq established the inter-agency Iraq PSEA Network to implement the Secretary-General’s Bulletin on Special Measures for PSEA and promote accountability to affected populations.
The Iraq PSEA Network serves as an independent inter-agency body for PSEA coordination and oversight, establishment and review of policies/guidance, and implementation of the PSEA Action Plan for Iraq, endorsed by the UNCT.