3.2 Additional suggested actions
The following ideas to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation and abuse of beneficiaries in relief operations should be considered in emergency programming. These ideas should be considered by all CARE International Members, both lead and non-lead members, in carrying out their respective roles in emergency preparedness and response.
- To avoid recruiting the wrong candidates, conduct reference checks before any new hiring. Include specific questions in reference checks on this aspect of their past behaviour.
- Strive for gender balance in staff. Include at least one or two women in each field team.
- The human resource person, the gender coordinator or the programme manager should give and explain CARE’s policy/Code of conduct to each new and existing employee.
- Each employee should be required to sign the agreement to abide by the Code of conduct.
- It is desirable to organise an orientation workshop for all deputed staff and their supervisors (refer Annexes 33.2a-33.4) for examples for orientation and training modules).
- Explicitly include in the job description of the team leader/HR manager, responsibility to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation by staff.
- CARE’s policy/code should be communicated/discussed with all partners and their staff, and included in the partner agreements. Partners should be encouraged to get all their staff to review and sign a similar code.
- Organise additional skill-building events for those with significant responsibilities, for receiving, investigating and/or responding to reported incidents.
- Carry out assessments to identify specific needs and potential exploitation/protection issues, especially for women and children. Include people with expertise in the area of gender, child protection, psycho-social care, etc. in assessment teams.
- Emphasise the need for staff to be aware of the psycho-social impact of such disasters and exploitative behaviours, and respond with empathy.
- Identify and partner with individuals/organisations to respond to the psycho-social, medical and legal needs for survivors of sexual abuse/exploitation.
- Conduct awareness-raising activities and display locally appropriate and effective posters that communicate CARE’s values/standards for staff behaviour and incident-reporting options at all prominent response points/camps in communities.
- Display posters with information on relief criteria and entitlements prominently outside camps/distribution sites.
- Collaborate and coordinate with other agencies to develop and implement reporting and feedback mechanisms, as well as advocacy efforts on SEA as required.
Ensure that the gender equity and diversity (GED) coordinator or an independent consultant periodically conducts a random survey with staff to find out their knowledge and attitude towards sexual exploitation, the CARE policy and procedures, and their individual responsibility.