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Announcing a sector-wide pledge on preventing and addressing sexual misconduct

Announcing a sector-wide pledge on preventing and addressing sexual misconduct

September 19, 2018

Announcing a sector-wide pledge on preventing and addressing sexual misconduct

by lenasarchuk | September 19, 2018

Oxfam Canada joins the Canadian Council for International Development Canada’s independent national voice for international development and humanitarian organizations, in announcing a sector-wide pledge on preventing and addressing sexual misconduct. While standards and legal frameworks already exist, the pledge reflects Oxfam’s and the sector’s unwavering commitment to pivotal practices and policies that will create safer workplaces and programs. 

(Ottawa, September 19, 2018) – The Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC) Leaders’ Pledge on Preventing and Addressing Sexual Misconduct is a shared and public commitment to practices and policies that will not only protect the staff of the participating organizations, but also the communities they serve.  The pledge stems from the work of leaders within CCIC’s member organizations to address sexual harassment, abuse and exploitation within the international development and humanitarian aid community.

Oxfam Canada’s Executive Director, Julie Delahanty, served as co-chair of the CCIC Steering Committee to Prevent and Address Sexual Misconduct in the International Development and Humanitarian Aid Sector, which developed the pledge. This Committee, comprising 11 other sector leaders including Oxfam Québec, is working on a range of issues to establish work environments free from sexual abuse, exploitation and harassment by and of aid workers, including finding ways to support organizations with fewer resources.

“This pledge is an essential first step for the international development and humanitarian aid community in Canada to come together and agree on fundamental standards to address and create lasting solutions to problems of sexual abuse and exploitation in the sector,” says Delahanty. “There is much more to be done and now is the time for collective action. I’m proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with my fellow leaders to move our sector in the right direction.”

While standards and legal frameworks already exist, the pledge reflects Oxfam’s and the sector’s unwavering commitment to pivotal practices and policies that will create safer workplaces and programs. It also reflects the sector’s commitment to tackling the deeper issues that lead to sexual misconduct.

“At the heart of every case of sexual exploitation is the issue of power,” says Delahanty. “While power imbalances are the root of sexual abuse in any context, they are particularly acute in humanitarian settings. We need strong, reliable and resourced safeguarding policies along with stronger programs to support gender equality and women’s rights in vulnerable settings. Collaboration across the sector is crucial to ensuring that we step up and tackle this important issue collectively and effectively.”

By signing the pledge, sector leaders committed to a set of concrete actions to prevent and respond to sexual misconduct in the sector. In addition to establishing a culture of zero tolerance to all forms of sexual misconduct, the pledge commits organizations to strengthen the implementation of policies already in place, to strengthen accountability and reporting mechanisms and to find common solutions to challenges that remain, such as preventing perpetrators from moving through and between organizations. You can find the full text of the pledge here.

Contact information

Paula Baker
Media Relations
Oxfam Canada
(613) 240-3047
gro.m1550822566afxo@1550822566rekab1550822566.alua1550822566p1550822566

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