Sexual violence against and within the humanitarian and development community is only an emergent problem in the sense that it is finally beginning to be openly discussed. Ranging from harassment to unwanted touching to rape, sexual violence in humanitarian and development workplaces can have a significant impact on survivors, office relationship, quality of programming and interaction with the local population. It has far-reaching consequences and, with 56% of reported perpetrators being either international or national colleagues, it must be addressed by organisations quickly and effectively.
Report the Abuse (RTA) (2016) looked into the response strategies, policies and procedures of 92 different organisations, including UN bodies, INGOs and governmental entities to determine how the issue is currently being addressed. Only 16% of the organisations were found to have any measure to address sexual violence against their employees.
By setting forth steps, in the form of a three-part checklist, RTA has provided a viable framework to secure survivor-centred approaches, as a step toward implementing our goals across all humanitarian and development organisations. Establishment of measures like those set out in the report should not be done to protect the reputation of organisations, but rather in order to create a work environment in which sexual violence in the workplace is both prohibited and addressed in a responsive manner.