PSEA implementation quick reference handbook




PSEA (Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse) is a term used by the UN and NGO community to refer to measures taken to protect vulnerable people from sexual exploitation and abuse our by own staff and associated personnel.

The contexts we work in bring us into contact with vulnerable people. As NGO workers, we have access to goods and services that put us in a position of power over the community.
Unfortunately, a minority of people use this imbalance of power to exploit and abuse vulnerable members of the community.

The humanitarian and development community is committed to preventing sexual exploitation and abuse in our work. However the issue is a complex one and sometimes it can seem hard to know where to start.

Purpose of the handbook

The purpose of this handbook is to demonstrate how we can implement practical measures to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse. The Handbook takes the key areas from the above standards and provides examples of how this can look in practice. It also provides a real-life case study for each of the areas covered, so you can learn from the work of other NGOs.

How to use this handbook

This handbook is designed for you to dip into when you are developing PSEA measures, to provide guidance and ideas. Each chapter takes a key element in implementing PSEA, and discusses what needs to be in place. It then takes you through a step by step guide of how to implement these measures, followed by a good practice example.

Further support

Tools and resources that support you to implement the steps in each chapter can be found on the CHS Alliance website at

If you are interested in understanding better how well you are implementing PSEA measures, the CHS Alliance can advise on approaches to organisational assessment.

CHS Alliance members are required to carry out a self-assessment against the Core Humanitarian Standard every two years, and to report progress annually against an action plan derived from the findings. The CHS Alliance extracts a detailed PSEA score from the self-assessments and progress reports, giving a comprehensive picture of the different elements contributing to effective work on PSEA in an organisation. The score is fed back to the individual organisations, as well as providing a way of tracking progress on PSEA across the sector. Organisations with gaps on this can access free, unlimited remote support from the CHS Alliance as they work to improve.