What is sexual exploitation and abuse?

Sexual exploitation and abuse are situations where humanitarian workers abuse their position of power or the trust of refugees, asylum seekers or migrants to get sex or favors. This includes all UNHCR teams and partners.

The offer of money, shelter, food or other goods or services to anyone who is in a vulnerable position in exchange for sex or sexual favors is sexual exploitation.

The threat, use of force or intimidation to have sex or obtain sexual favors from anyone who is in conditions of unequal power is sexual abuse.

The following are examples of sexual exploitation and abuse:

  • Any sexual relations with children under 18 years of age, regardless of whether there is consent or not.
  • The offer of money, employment, goods, or services in exchange for sex.
  • The offer of humanitarian assistance (e.g., food, clothing or shelter) in exchange for sex.
  • Any sexual relation carried out by force or through intimidation.

If you were a victim of sexual exploitation or sexual abuse, or if you know someone who was, report it!

You can file a complaint about what happened to you or someone else by approaching an UNHCR or its partners offices.

You can also report what happened by emailing [email protected] or by sending an SMS or WhatsApp at 099 789 7242.