Report sexual exploitation or abuse by United Nations staff

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 or partner organisations you can report directly to

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

  • 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. 

In Ireland, sexual exploitation and abuse should also be reported to the national authorities, in particualr An Garda Síochána (national police) : 

  • In an emergency please call 999 / 112. 

You can also contact the police: 

  • At your local Garda station 
  • By telephone on 1800 666 111 daily from 9am to 9pm. This freephone number is monitored by trained Gardaí (members of the police).