Duty of Care: Protection of Humanitarian Aid Workers from Sexual Violence

News and Press Release
Originally published


Duty of care is being increasingly discussed within the humanitarian community, and becoming an important area within risk management practice for organisation’s wishing to better address health, safety, and security issues for their staff. This is a welcomed move, with humanitarian action feeling progressively dangerous, and cases like Steve Dennis v. NRC underscoring the need to do better as a community.

What needs to be considered more thoroughly however is duty of care as it applies to sexual violence in humanitarian workplaces and living environments. With this issue finally getting increasing attention, there is an opportunity to highlight the intersection and identify where further research is needed to create safer and healthier workplaces for all humanitarian aid workers.

This paper functions as a broad foundation for contemplating duty of care, as it relates to sexual violence. We hope that others will build on the information set out briefly here, to develop explicit and full examinations of how humanitarian organisations can meet their duty of care to provide workplaces free from sexual violence.