Staff Conduct & Neutrality

As the heart of the UNRWA family, the conduct of our staff members is crucial in ensuring that our beneficiaries, donors and partners, as well as the general public, know that we are a purely humanitarian agency – in other words, that our sole mission is to protect life and health and ensure respect for human dignity. This is outlined in our All Staff Manual, an internal guide for staff which lays out non-exhaustive guidance on staff conduct in line with the Humanitarian Principles. 30,000 copies in both Arabic and English were distributed in late 2019 to all five of our field offices.

The Agency’s staff are deeply committed to assisting and protecting Palestine refugees across all five of our fields. UNRWA staff’s respect of the Humanitarian Principles is attested by the rarity of staff conduct violations and our robust reporting system, whereby all staff members are able to report a Humanitarian Principle violation anonymously without fear of reprisal.


The Agency has taken strong action in cases where staff members were found to have engaged in conduct that was not compatible with the Agency’s commitment to the Humanitarian Principles. For example, staff have been disciplined, up to and including termination, for promoting hatred or engaging with controversial issues publicly or on social media, or for partaking in other activities that are incompatible with their status as an international civil servant, such as assuming political functions. Staff are under an obligation to report misconduct and to cooperate with investigations. Any staff member that reports a violation is protected from retaliation and may report anonymously.

Staff are always afforded due process and may request the review of administrative decisions by UNRWA management. Staff may also challenge a decision through the system for the administration of justice, comprising the UNRWA Dispute Tribunal and the United Nations Appeals Tribunals (the latter through which judgments of the UNRWA Dispute Tribunal may be appealed).

UNRWA Disciplinary System





per cent

staff members 
have completed 
the Social Media 
& Neutrality 

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