Sexual Misconduct

The United Nations system-wide policies prohibiting sexual misconduct (which refers to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse and Sexual Harassment) apply to all UNRWA personnel.

In February 2018, in an effort to further prevent sexual misconduct, UNRWA established a Task Force on Sexual Misconduct comprised of international and area staff representatives from all five Field Offices, as well as concerned HQ Departments and Offices.The task force aims to find innovative ways to implement UN Secretary-General and Chief Executive Board initiatives on preventing and responding to SEA and SH, but also to go beyond and tailor unique initiatives for UNRWA’s context and beneficiary community. 

The Ethics Office has a number of responsibilities related to the Agency’s policies on protection from sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) of beneficiaries and on the prohibition of discrimination, harassment – including sexual harassment – and abuse of power in the work context.


Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA)

SEA occurs when an UNRWA employee abuses his or her position for sexual purposes. This includes, amongst other things, the exchange of money, employment, goods, or services for sex, even if perceived “voluntary”, as well as any actual or attempted involuntary act of a sexual nature, including sexual touching, forced upon a beneficiary or other member of the local community.

UNRWA has a zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) of beneficiaries. SEA is serious misconduct and constitutes ground for the most severe disciplinary measures, up to and including summary dismissal. Click on the button below to read the rules on SEA. (read more about UNRWA rules against SEA).

Humanitarian workers must report any acts of sexual exploitation and abuse. If you wish to report, please visit the Department of Internal Oversight Services page.


Video on Sexual Misconduct (add link)


Linked Documents:

  • Poster SEA and Sexual Harassment