The Executive Committees on Humanitarian Affairs and Peace and Security (ECHA/ECPS) United Nations (UN) and Nongovernmental Organization (NGO) Task Force on Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse was established in February 2005 with the aim of preventing acts of sexual exploitation and abuse and improving response to it when it occurs. OCHA and DFS co-chair this task force that includes more than 35 UN and non-UN entities. This Task Force took up the work of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Task Force on Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in Humanitarian Crises.

Policy framework

In October 2003, the Secretary-General issued a Bulletin entitled Special Measures for Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (SGB). The SGB stipulates that any acts of sexual exploitation or sexual abuse committed by UN staff members or persons under contract with the UN “constitute acts of serious misconduct and are therefore grounds for disciplinary measures, including summary dismissal.” It also notes that Heads of Departments, Offices and Missions are responsible for “creating and maintaining an environment that prevents sexual exploitation and sexual abuse.” Through the Task Force, members seek to implement this obligation with the benefit of inter-agency collaboration.

Areas of Focus

The work of the Task Force is divided into four focus areas: 1) engagement with and support of local populations, 2) prevention, 3) response systems, and 4) management and coordination.