Reporting misconduct

Reporting misconduct by humanitarian workers 

UNHCR provides a trusted, respectful and inclusive environment where people should feel safe. Anyone having concerns or suspicions about possible misconduct by a staff member of UNHCR or of UNHCR’s partner organisations, including sexual exploitation and abuse, regardless of that person’s position, should report such concerns. 

What is misconduct? 

The United Nations defines misconduct as “any failure by a staff member to comply with his or her obligations under the Charter of the United Nations, the Staff Regulations and Staff Rules or other administrative issuances, or to observe the standards of conduct expected of an international civil servant.” 

Possible misconduct can include: 

  • Sexual exploitation and abuse of people of concern to UNHCR. 
  • Fraud (e.g. falsifying a document). 
  • Corruption (e.g. taking money from refugees or others). 
  • Theft and embezzlement (e.g. stealing equipment or money). 
  • Workplace harassment (e.g. treating staff members in an unfair manner). 
  • Sexual harassment (e.g. unwelcome sexual behaviour). 
  • Abuse of authority (e.g. showing favouritism or discrimination against staff). 
  • Assault upon or threats to others. 
  • Misuse of UNHCR assets. 
  • Breach of confidentiality. 
  • Acts or behaviour that would discredit UNHCR. 
  • Non-compliance with local laws. 
  • Conflict of interest. 
  • Abuse of privileges and immunities. 
  • Gross negligence. 
  • Unauthorized outside activities or employment. 

Reporting suspected sexual exploitation and abuse by humanitarian workers 

Sexual exploitation and abuse are gross forms of misconduct and are unacceptable behaviours and prohibited for all United Nations personnel and all affiliated personnel (including staff and volunteers of NGO partner organisations).  

Any person working in the refugee response – including UN agencies, humanitarian organizations, and volunteers – is prohibited from: 

  • Asking for any kind of favours, including sexual favours, in exchange for services, support, or assistance
  • Engaging in sexual activities with people they assist or aim to assist. 
  • All sexual activity with children (anyone under 18 years old). 

Other forms of misconduct include fraud (e.g. falsifying a document to obtain a benefit), corruption (e.g. taking money from refugees or others), and theft and embezzlement (e.g. stealing equipment or money). 

Anyone concerned by potential misconduct is encouraged to report it. 

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. Report fraudsters who are offering you resettlement, financial or other kinds of assistance, fake documents or fake claims in exchange for money or other favors. 

UNHCR Romania: 

What is corruption? 

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

All UNHCR services are free of charge. Do not trust anyone asking you to pay for the services of UNHCR or its partners. If any form of favors (including of sexual nature) is requested from you, please report it to UNHCR immediately. 

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

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, WhatsApp, Viber and Telegram. 

How to report misconduct 

You have the right to complain about and to report any inappropriate behaviour, exploitation or abuse by a humanitarian worker including any staff member of or anyone affiliated with UNHCR or a partner organisation. If you are aware of, or have concerns or suspicions about, a possible case of sexual exploitation and abuse or other forms of misconduct please report to: 
UNHCR Romania:


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

  • Email: [email protected]
  • IGO Online Complaint Form:
  • Mail: UNHCR, 94 Rue de Montbrillant, 1202 Geneva, Switzerland

Please provide the following information, if possible, when reporting misconduct:

  • What alleged wrongdoing are you reporting? Describe what happened, including as many details as possible that you know.
  • Who committed the alleged wrongdoing? Do you know if anyone else was involved? Provide full names, titles and organization, if possible.
  • When and where did the incident(s) happen? Indicate date(s) and time(s), if available.
  • How did the individual commit the alleged wrongdoing?
  • Why do you believe the activity was improper?

Your report will be treated with discretion and be kept strictly confidential (your name and personal information will not be shared with anyone or any organization without your consent).

Investigations into allegations of misconduct concerning UNHCR personnel are conducted by UNHCR’s Inspector General’s Office.

Reporting a concern, suspicious or an incident of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (or other form of misconduct) by a person working in the refugee response to UNHCR or to any other humanitarian organisation does not affect your rights nor your access to humanitarian assistance.

If you have been a victim of sexual exploitation and abuse you have the right to access safety, protection, psychosocial, medical and legal support, and any other relevant service.