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Managing Sexual Violence Against Aid Workers: prevention, preparedness, response and aftercare

Aid agencies have a duty of care to respond to incidents of sexual violence against their staff. Sexual violence in all its forms violates human rights. Incidents of this kind are deeply distressing for the survivor, their family, their colleagues and the whole aid community. Sexual violence incidents also have the potential to leave survivors with lifelong physical and mental health problems.

Managing Sexual Violence against Aid Workers (2019) aims to support aid agencies in preventing, being prepared for and responding to incidents of sexual violence against their staff. It is intended as a good practice guide to help strengthen existing processes and support organisations as they set up their own protocols.

This guide is aimed at anyone with a responsibility for staff care, safety and security, as well as anyone involved in processes aimed at preventing or responding to incidents of sexual violence against staff, such as security focal points, HR staff, project and programmes staff, and first responders to incidents of sexual violence within an aid organisation.

The full guide and a summary brief can be accessed via the links below.

The associated tools can be downloaded in an editable format using the links below, and organisations are free to use or adapt these tools provided that GISF is acknowledged as the original source.

Tool 1: Scenarios for senior leadership

Tool 2: Bystander intervention

Tool 3: Legal environment questionnaire

Tool 4: Sexual violence response task list

Tool 5: Guidelines for a survivor supporter

Tool 6: Preserving physical evidence

Tool 7: Conducting an investigation


Duty of Care: Protection of Humanitarian Aid Workers from Sexual Violence

This paper functions as a broad foundation for contemplating duty of care, as it relates to sexual violence.

SIIM Podcast: Sexual Violence: Ensuring lessons are learned while remaining survivor-focused

In episode four of the Humanitarian Incidents podcast, Megan Nobert shares her advice on how NGOs should respond if a member of staff reports an incident of sexual violence.

Safeguarding Aid Workers

This GISF article by Megan Nobert, founder of Report the Abuse, explores the safeguarding of aid workers.