The Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Task Force on Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) by our own staff was established in January 2011 as a result of the IASC Review of PSEA by UN, NGO, IOM and IFRC personnel. The Review concluded that the advancement of protection from sexual exploitation and abuse by our own staff in the humanitarian community would be best served if the IASC were to resume its leadership on the issue. This was due to the need to address the high risk of SEA in humanitarian contexts; the lack of progress within the humanitarian sector compared with the peacekeeping sector; the need to focus the humanitarian community on improving implementation of the Secretary-General’s Bulletin: Special measures for protection from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse (ST/SGB/2003/13); and the need to engage humanitarian leaders at the highest level – which was argued throughout the report as the most critical factor in securing progress in PSEA.
The IASC Task Force is a venue for collaboration among all IASC members (UN, NGO, IOM and IFRC) with cross cutting focus on the humanitarian, development and peacekeeping contexts. The objectives of the IASC Task Force are three-fold:
- Supporting field offices in implementing joint community based complaints mechanisms (including victim assistance) and related activities (comparing the situation before and after the implementation of the projects).
- Supporting agencies in institutionalizing minimum operating standards for PSEA within their respective organisation.
- Mainstreaming PSEA within relevant IASC subsidiary bodies and cluster systems.
Co-chaired by UNICEF and International Medical Corps and consisting of more than 40 NGO and UN entities, this Task Force took up the work of the Executive Committees on Humanitarian Affairs and Peace and Security (ECHA/ECPS) United Nations (UN) and Nongovernmental Organization (NGO) Task Force on PSEA (which was dissolved in January 2011).
The work of the Task Force to address sexual exploitation and abuse by our own staff is organized under the four pillars.
The Task Force supports the establishment of UN and NGO policies and develops tools so as to assist in protecting from sexual exploitation and abuse by our own staff. It has produced, for example:
Future outputs will include guidance on developing collaborative community based complaints mechanisms and guidance for implementing the UN Secretary-General’s Bulletin on special measures for protection from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse.
The Task Force also provides strategic and technical support to selected field operations. In this context, it builds capacity through training, provides guidance and more.
Finally, the Task Force strengthens inter-agency collaboration on PSEA activities so as to ensure complementarity and knowledge-sharing and avoid duplication.
Co-chairs: UNICEF and International Medical Corps.
Members: Consists of more than 25 UN and non-UN entities including:
Care International, Caritas International, Catholic Relief Services, DFS, Droits Humains Sans Frontière, Food for Hungry, HAP International, ICRC, IFRC, IOM, InterAction, International Medical Corps, International Rescue Committee, Lutheran World Federation, OCHA, Oxfam GB, Save the Children USA, Save the Children UK, Thai Committee for Refugees, UNDP,UNFPA, HN Habitat, UNHCR, UNICEF, WHO, WFP, Women’s Refugee Commission and World Vision International.