Policy
UN and NGO Task Force

Following the work of the IASC Task Force, the Executive Committees on Humanitarian Affairs and Peace and Security (ECHA/ECPS), a UN and NGO Task Force on Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, was established in February 2005. It is comprised of approximately 30 UN and non-UN entities which have formed partnerships to address sexual exploitation and abuse in countries where there are peacekeeping missions and organizations conducting development, peacekeeping and humanitarian work.   

 

In December 2006, under the auspices of the ECHA/ ECPS Task Force, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, the Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Children’s Fund hosted the High-level Conference on Eliminating Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by UN and NGO Personnel. Senior leaders in the UN, NGOs and international organizations assessed challenges in preventing and responding to SEA by their staff. 

 

A Statement of Commitment on Eliminating Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by UN and Non-UN Personnel was issued at the conference. It contains the following ten action points:  

  1. Develop organization-specific strategies to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation and abuse.  
  2. Incorporate our standards on sexual exploitation and abuse in induction materials and training courses for our personnel.
  3. Prevent perpetrators of sexual exploitation and abuse from being (re-)hired or   (re-)deployed.  
  4. Ensure that complaint mechanisms for reporting sexual exploitation and abuse are accessible and that focal points for receiving complaints understand how to discharge their duties.
  5. Take appropriate action to the best of our abilities to protect persons from retaliation where allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse are reported involving our personnel.
  6. Investigate allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse in a timely and professional manner.  
  7. Take swift and appropriate action against our personnel who commit sexual exploitation and abuse.  
  8. Provide basic emergency assistance to complainants of sexual exploitation and abuse.
  9. Regularly inform our personnel and communities on measures taken to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation and abuse.  
  10. Engage the support of communities and governments to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation and abuse by our personnel.  

The ECHA/ECPS UN and NGO Task Force on Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, co-chaired by the Department of Field Support and OCHA, is the current mechanism that provides strategic guidance and supports common initiatives by UN agencies and NGOs. The focus of the Task Force is four-fold: engagement with local populations, prevention, response, including assistance to victims, and management and coordination.