Sexual Exploitation and Abuse

UNHCR and all its partners have ZERO TOLERANCE for any sexual exploitation or abuse of refugees by our staff or partners. All assistance provided by UNHCR is free of charge. Aid should never be given in exchange for sexual, financial, social or political gain.

What is sexual exploitation and sexual abuse?

  • Sexual exploitation is exchanging money, shelter, food or other goods for sex or sexual favours from someone in a vulnerable position.

Example: A humanitarian worker who promises resettlement to a refugee woman in exchange for a sexual relationship engages in sexual exploitation. This is prohibited.

  • Sexual abuse threatens or forces someone to have sex or provide sexual favours under unequal or forced conditions.

Example: A humanitarian worker engaging in sexual activity with a child (under 18) is committing sexual abuse. This is prohibited.

How do I report sexual exploitation and sexual 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 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.

You can also report concerns or suspicions about sexual exploitation and abuse to UNHCR Thailand or our partner organizations (BRC and Host) directly.

For confidentiality purposes, if you want to report an incident or concerns to UNHCR Thailand, we encourage you to make an appointment for in-person protection counseling with UNHCR Protection Unit.

Please note that all reports are treated with discretion and kept strictly confidential.

 For more information, you can visit UNHCR – Reporting sexual exploitation and Abuse (SEA).

What are the available services?

For emergency support in response to a GBV incident (including incidents perpetrated by a humanitarian worker), please contact:

Protection Hotline: 📞 081-899-7617 (Monday-Friday 16:30 – 23:00; Saturday-Sunday and UN Holidays 09.00–23:00)

See also: