2. CARE’s policy
CARE expressly prohibits and will not tolerate any form of sexual harassment, exploitation or abuse. The CARE International Policy on Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, and Child Protection (2017; see Annexes 33.1a-e = policy in different languages) outlines definitions; principles; prohibited behaviours; and individual responsibility to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse.
In addition to all CARE International Members and CARE International Country Offices following the global CARE International Policy on Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, and Child Protection, they also follow codes of conduct and sexual harassment policies.
CARE staff employed in emergencies are required to understand and sign a code of conduct and the CI policy of Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse and Child Protection, amongst other CARE Member specific contractual requirements. Violations of these policies are treated as serious misconduct and can result in disciplinary measures, including dismissal.
Our experience has underscored that it is important to ensure that the organisational principles and bottom lines are not compromised in the process of contextualisation. The process (of dialogue and discussions) used while introducing the policy is important in creating staff awareness and ownership for effective implementation of the policy. The following guidance can be used by Country Offices for introducing and ensuring understanding of the policy:
- Translate the policy in local/regional/national languages to ensure it is understood by all stakeholders.
- Develop awareness raising resources about the policy content in local languages, i.e. put posters up in the office.
- Disseminate and orientate the policy to all staff through interactive discussions, workshops and trainings.
- Orientate and sensitize CARE partners to the policy and issues of sexual exploitation and abuse through interactive discussions, workshops and training.
- Include the policy in employee induction programme/pre-departure briefings during emergencies.
- Implement additional training/coaching of staff with specific responsibility to facilitate wider dissemination and understanding of issues related to sexual exploitation and abuse.
- Disseminate awareness raising with aid recipients and communities that aid is free, the type of behaviours that are unacceptable for CARE and partner staff, and how to report abuse and seek support if it does happen.
- Link the policy implementation to other organisational initiatives that contribute to creating a culture of trust and security, and promoting equity and respect, thereby creating healthy work environments and work relationships.
- Monitor and review the policy implementation, and if needed, adjust training and awareness raising.
The overarching objective is to protect aid recipients, communities and our staff from harm by CARE and partner staff and to create a safe and respectful work environment wherever CARE is working.