Reporting sexual exploitation and abuse by humanitarian workers

Sexual exploitation and abuse are unacceptable behaviours and prohibited for all United Nations and NGO partners’ staff members. Your report will be treated with discretion and be kept strictly confidential.

What is sexual exploitation? 

Any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust for sexual purposes.

What is sexual abuse? 

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

Sexual exploitation and abuse can happen to anyone—men, women, boys, and girls—at any age, and in any circumstance.

Protection from sexual exploitation and abuse by humanitarian workers

In line with United Nations standards of conduct UNHCR staff members and NGO 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.

Report suspected sexual exploitation and abuse

If you 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, you can report directly to

UNHCR Poland: [email protected]

The Inspector General’s Office (IGO) at UNHCR Headquarters:

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?
    • Include dates and times, if possible.

See also: