Sexual Exploitation and Abuse

Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse

Sexual exploitation and abuse are unacceptable behaviours prohibited for United Nations staff and Partners. The UN has ZERO-TOLERANCE for sexual exploitation and abuse. 

What is sexual exploitation? 

Any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust for sexual purposes. It includes trafficking for sexual reasons and prostitution.

What is sexual abuse? 

Any actual or threatened sexual intrusion carried out either by force or under unequal or coercive conditions.

United Nations staff and partners must not :

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

→ Remember that sexual exploitation and abuse can happen to anyone and anywhere — men, women, boys, and girls — at any age, with or without a disability, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender

How to report Sexual Exploitation and Abuse

If you are aware of, have witnessed or are subjected to sexual exploitation and abuse by UNHCR, UN, NGOs and civil servants, you can report directly to:

UNHCR’s Inspector General’s Office based in UNHCR Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland by:

  • using the online complaint form
  • confidential email: [email protected] 
  • Confidential fax: +41 22 739 7380
  • Regular mail: 94, rue de Montbrillant, Case postale 2500, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland
  • the IGO keeps the information it receives confidential –

To contact UNHCR to have more information about sexual exploitation and abuse, or for any other concern and complaint, please contacts us +32 (0) 472 18 92 65, Tuesday from 9.30 to 12.30.