How to report sexual exploitation and abuse

Sexual exploitation and abuse are unacceptable behaviours and prohibited for all United Nations and NGO partners’ staff members. 

What is sexual exploitation?

It is any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes. It includes trafficking and prostitution.

What is sexual abuse?

It is 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, with or without a disability, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity and in any circumstance.

In line with the United Nations standards of conduct, the staff members of UNHCR and NGO partners must not:

  • Have sexual activity with anyone in exchange for money, employment, preferential treatment, goods or services,
  • Have sexual activity with anyone under the age of 18 years old,
  • Engage in any other form of sexually humiliating, degrading or exploitative behaviour.

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, please report this 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?
    • Please include dates and times, if possible.

Your report will be treated with discretion and kept strictly confidential.

Related information

Reporting fraud and corruption
How to seek help
About UNHCR in Turkey