The Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) is the primary mechanism for inter-agency coordination of humanitarian assistance, involving the key UN and non-UN humanitarian partners. Protection from sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA) and sexual harassment (SH) has been a core commitment of the IASC since 2002, as reflected in a number of actions taken to reinforce these commitments, including the adoption of the Six Principles on PSEA, with clear standards for humanitarian workers and a plan of action on PSEA. In December 2018, the IASC Principals endorsed a scale-up plan on PSEA through a call for collective action and investment by IASC members in all countries with Humanitarian Response Plans or Refugee Response Plans. It is based on a review of the existing IASC commitments on PSEA, and where these commitments can be further strengthened through collective implementation at country level. The proposal focuses on achieving three key outcomes on PSEA in the areas of 1) safe and accessible reporting, 2) quality victim/survivor assistance and 3) enhanced accountability, including investigations. To deliver on these outcomes, an enhanced PSEA structure at country level is being established that builds upon existing good practice in the field and contributes to a broader accountability strategy.
The plan is aligned with the Secretary-General’s system-wide approach to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation and abuse (launched in 2017), which prioritizes the rights and dignity of victims; and focuses on combatting impunity; building multi-stakeholder networks of support and re-orienting our approach to strategy communication to raise awareness of sexual exploitation and abuse worldwide. As a means of operationalizing the focus on victims’ rights, in 2017, the Secretary-General appointed a global United Nations Victims’ Rights Advocate and called for the designation of Field Victims’ Rights Advocates in four countries.
This webinar introduced the IASC Plan for accelerating protection from sexual exploitation and abuse in humanitarian response, as well as the work of the victims’ rights advocates. It consider how a victim-centred approach can be integrated in its implementation to strengthen responses to victims – from reporting, to support and accountability. The aim is to strengthen coordination and collaboration, coherence and consistency across the sector in operationalizing a victim-centred approach.