Complaints, feedback and reporting fraud or sexual abuse/exploitation

ATTENTION! UNHCR has a zero-tolerance approach to fraud, misconduct, corruption, exploitation, or abuse. Remember, UNHCR services are always free of charge.

Please do NOT pay money or provide any Favours to get assistance from UNHCR or our partners.

If you or someone you know have been asked to pay for any UNHCR and partner
services, you can confidentially report that or any other violation of this to UNHCR Sudan by:

If you or someone you know have been asked to pay for any UNHCR and partner services, you can confidentially report that or any other violation of this to UNHCR Sudan by:

Email[email protected]

Letter: Complaints/suggestions boxes are available at the gate of all UNHCR facilities.                                                                                                                       

Protection desks in the location you are in.

UNHCR Staff member: You can report to any UNHCR staff members on UNHCR activities or concerns regarding any humanitarian partners offering good services to you or your community.

To report fraud, corruption, sexual abuse or exploitation, or other misconduct to the Inspector General’s Office, which provides independent assurance and oversight of UNHCR’s activities and operations, you can do so:

Your complaint will be handled by defined procedures according to the nature of your complaint. All complaints are treated confidentially for your protection.  In making your complaint, provide all information that you believe is relevant. Anonymous complaints will be considered, but addressing your concern may not be easy if we cannot contact you efficiently.

  1. 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.
  • 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. unfairly treating staff members).
  • Sexual harassment (e.g. unwelcome sexual behavior).
  • Abuse of authority (e.g. showing favoritism or discrimination against staff).
  • Assault upon or threats to others.
  • Misuse of UNHCR assets.
  • Breach of confidentiality.
  • Acts or behavior that would discredit UNHCR.
  • Non-compliance with local laws.
  • Conflict of interest.
  • Abuse of privileges and immunities.
  • Gross negligence.
  • Unauthorized outside activities or employment.

What is fraud? Any act or omission, including misrepresentation or concealment of a material fact, that knowingly or intentionally misleads or attempts to mislead a party to obtain a benefit, whether directly or indirectly, whether for oneself or a third party.

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

Report fraudsters that offer you resettlement, financial or other kinds of assistance, fake documents or fake claims in exchange for money or other favors. These offers may be made to you in person or via social media, including Facebook, WhatsApp, Viber and Telegram.

  • What is Sexual Exploitation and Abuse?

What is sexual exploitation? It is any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust for sexual purposes.

What is sexual abuse? It is any actual or threatened sexual activity carried out by force or under unequal or coercive conditions.

Humanitarian workers are not allowed sexual relationships with anyone under 18, even if it is legal in their country. Saying they did not know the person’s actual age is not a valid excuse.

Humanitarian workers are not allowed to pay for sex with money, employment, goods or services – including goods and services intended to aid people in need. They must not use promises of these things to make other people accept any kind of behavior that humiliates or exploits them. This includes paying or offering money for sex with a prostitute. Humanitarian workers have influence over who receives goods and services. This places them in a position of power in relation to people who need assistance. For that reason, humanitarian organizations strongly encourage staff not to have sexual relationships with anyone affected by a humanitarian emergency. Such relationships make humanitarian action seem less honest and credible.

Remember, UNHCR services are always free of charge.

    • ALL SERVICES ARE FREE: All services provided by UNHCR and its partners are provided free of charge.  No refugee or asylum seeker should be asked to pay for UNHCR’s services. Beware that any person who claims that he/she is able to provide you with special treatment may be trying to exploit you.  Any person who demands any financial or other benefit from a refugee or asylum seeker to access UNHCR facilities should be reported immediately. These persons will be subject to disciplinary action, which, in the case of UNHCR or partner staff, includes termination of employment and referral to the Government of Sudan for possible criminal investigation. 

    • DO NOT ATTEMPT TO BRIBE: Do not attempt to bribe any person for any services provided by UNHCR or its partners.  If you do so, you may face consequences, including denial of services and possibly, criminal investigation.

    • ALWAYS TELL THE TRUTH: Remain truthful when talking to UNHCR and partners. Any mispresented information may lead to negative consequences for you, including a denial of services or protection and possibly criminal investigation. If you have previously made false statements, you should alert a staff member as soon as possible and explain the circumstances fully.

    • FRAUD, CORRUPTION AND EXPLOITATION:  Fraud, corruption and exploitation, whether committed by UNHCR/partner officials or asylum seekers/refugees, can have a significant impact on the availability of services provided by UNHCR and partners and result in significant delays in finding appropriate solutions including in third countries.

    • REPORT FRAUD OF REFUGEES AND ASYLUM SEEKERS: You should report any fraud or corruption by refugees and asylum seekers that you observe through the complaints mechanisms mentioned below. All reports will be processed in a confidential manner.

See also: