US Government Principles of Engagement on Protection from Sexual Exploitation, Abuse, and Sexual Harassment in International Organizations – Global

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NOTE TO MEDIA
SPOKESPERSON’S OFFICE
OCTOBER 26, 2022

The United States government has established principles for use by all federal agencies working with the United Nations and other international organizations on preventing and responding to incidents of sexual exploitation and abuse and sexual harassment (SEAH). These principles reflect our commitment to increasing clear and consistent U.S. engagement on SEAH matters, promoting accountability and transparency in response to SEAH incidents, and ensuring that U.S. taxpayer resources are used effectively. and transparent.

These principles include six key elements:

Zero tolerance

The United States will continue to promote the full implementation of zero tolerance policies for sexual exploitation and abuse and sexual harassment, including zero tolerance for inaction in response to allegations, through the United Nations and other international organizations. This includes supporting policies that prioritize prevention and mitigation efforts, monitor the effectiveness of these efforts, ensure safe access to SEAH confidential reporting mechanisms and appropriate support for survivors, and incorporate principles centered on survivors in all actions in response to reported allegations – including investigations. The United States recognizes that lack of reporting does not mean that incidents are not occurring, or that zero-tolerance policies are being fully implemented.

A survivor-centered approach

The United States expects all allegations or incidents of sexual exploitation and abuse and sexual harassment to be investigated and addressed, in accordance with the principles of due process. In its engagement with the United Nations and other international organizations, the United States will continue to advocate for the use of survivor-centered principles and standards – an approach that recognizes and empowers survivors as individuals. with unique abilities and needs, maintaining their dignity and well-being. .

Risk prevention and mitigation

The United States will work with the United Nations and other international organizations to institutionalize prevention and mitigation measures that go beyond basic awareness, training, capacity building, or code dissemination. conduct, and will include a commitment to promote adequate financing, dedicated technical assistance staff, and meaningful risk analysis and mitigation. The United States will hold the United Nations and other international organizations to the highest standards, including from the onset of a crisis, conflict, or emergency, to mitigate these risks. , especially for highly vulnerable populations.

Accountability and Transparency

The United States expects leaders of the United Nations and other international organizations to take meaningful steps to support accountability and transparency through, among other things, the following: conducting timely and the survivors ; response efforts driven by the needs, experiences and resiliences of those most at risk of SEAH; clear reporting and response systems, including for notifying Member States of allegations or incidents; and accountability measures, including termination of employment or involvement of law enforcement, as required.

Organizational Culture Change

The United States will work to advocate for the development by the United Nations and other international organizations of evidence-based measures and standards of practice in implementing zero tolerance policies, to promote holistic approaches, empower women and girls, and strengthen leadership and organizational accountability. . Policies, statements and training are essential, but they alone are not enough to produce lasting positive change. Systems-level change requires a change in organizational culture, behavior, and the underlying processes and mechanisms to deliver support and promote internal accountability.

Empowerment of local communities

The United States will prioritize, in partnership with the leadership of the United Nations and other international organizations, the critical importance of locally-led efforts, especially those led by women and girls, who, when truly supported and engaged, can inform measures that can mitigate risk and promote safer foreign assistance programs.

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