Reporting misconduct by humanitarian workers

Reporting sexual exploitation and abuse by humanitarian workers

Sexual exploitation and abuse is unacceptable behaviour and prohibited for all United Nations and NGO partners’ staff members. 

What is sexual exploitation? It is any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes.

What is sexual abuse? It is any actual or threatened sexual activity carried out by force or under unequal or coercive conditions.

In line with the United Nations standards of conduct, the staff members of UNHCR and NGO partners must not:

  • Have sexual activity with anyone in exchange for money, employment, preferential treatment, goods or services,
  • Have sexual activity with anyone under the age of 18 years old,
  • Engage in any other form of sexually humiliating, degrading or exploitative behaviour.

If you have are aware of, or have concerns or suspicions about a possible case of sexual exploitation and abuse by a UNHCR, UN or NGO staff member, please report this directly to the Inspector General’s Office (IGO) at UNHCR Headquarters:

  • Email: [email protected]
  • Confidential fax: +41 22 739 7380
  • Mail: UNHCR, 94 Rue de Montbrillant, 1202 Geneva, Switzerland

In your report, you should include:

  • What happened?
    • Describe in detail what you know about the incident or incidents.
  • Who committed the alleged wrongdoing?
    • Do you know if anyone else was involved? Please provide full names, job titles and organization, if possible.
  • When and where did the incident or incidents occur?
    • Please include dates and times, if possible.

Your report will be treated with discretion and kept strictly confidential.

Reporting fraud and corruption committed by UNHCR staff, or staff of UNHCR’s partners

What is fraud?

Fraud is any act with the objective of intentionally misleading another in order to obtain a benefit.

All UNHCR services are free of charge. Do not trust anyone or any organization asking you to pay for the services of UNHCR or its partners. If money or any other form of favours, including of a sexual nature, is requested from you, you should report it to UNHCR and/or the nearest police station immediately.

Be aware that any UNHCR service offered to you in exchange for money is fraudulent. For genuine information about UNHCR Armenia’s work and services, please consult UNHCR Armenia’s official Facebook page and webpage at UN Armenia website.

Report fraudsters who are offering you resettlement, financial or other kinds of assistance, fake documents or fake claims in exchange for money or other favours. These offers may be made to you in person or via social media, including Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, Viber and Telegram.

People who tell you such lies are seeking to take advantage of your situation. Avoid them at all costs. They may show you information to persuade you that they are connected to UNHCR. Do not believe them. Those persons are only after your money. Be alert and don’t get defrauded. Remember, UNHCR services are free of charge!

How do I complain about fraud?

  • You can email your complaint petition to UNHCR Armenia at [email protected] and/or [email protected].
  • You can put your complaint in a Complaint Box. Complaints Boxes are available at the gate of the UNHCR Office in Yerevan.
  • You can submit your complaint in a sealed envelope to a UNHCR partner’s office in Yerevan, to be delivered to UNHCR by hand.
  • You can send it to UNHCR Armenia’s address: UN House, 14, Petros Adamyan St., Yerevan, Armenia.

What is corruption?

What is corruption? It is offering, giving, receiving or soliciting (directly or indirectly) anything of value to influence improperly the actions of another party.

How do I complain about UNHCR staff?

If you have information about UNHCR staff, or staff of UNHCR partners or contractors, being involved in corruption, exploitation (including sexual exploitation), fraud, or sexual abuse report it immediately and directly to UNHCR’s Inspector-General’s Office (IGO) at its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

All communication with the IGO is kept confidential.

Important points

  • UNHCR takes seriously all complaints and follows up on each individually.
  • Please note that filing a complaint will not in any way impact your case with UNHCR.
  • Complaints may be anonymous.
  • In your complaint, please provide facts and evidence known to you.
  • All communication with UNHCR is kept confidential!