Press Release

Introduction to PSEA training held in Baghdad

18 September 2017
Participant of the PSEA training
Participant of the PSEA training

Baghdad, Iraq, 29-30 August 2017 – The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) office in Iraq, on behalf of the Iraq Network for Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA), in collaboration with the Government of Iraq’s Directorate for NGOs, organized an “Introduction to PSEA” training during 29-30 August in Baghdad, Iraq.

Participants included senior-level staff and Directors from 20 national NGO’s based across Iraq, as well as three staff members from the Directorate of NGO’s of the Council of Ministers Secretariat. The two-day training built on global guidance and good practice to enhance accountability to affected populations and to strengthen prevention of and response to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA) committed by aid workers against the affected population.

Through the interactive course curriculum, participants learned the basic principles of human rights, humanitarian action, and gender-based violence, and how these concepts are inextricably linked to SEA. The remainder of the training was dedicated to what measures and policies NGO’s can put in place within their own organizations to prevent and respond to SEA. 

Participants were also introduced to the six principles of the United Nations Secretary-General‘s Bulletin on Special Measures for Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (ST/SGB/2003/13). This Bulletin serves as the Code of Conduct for UN and humanitarian staff and is an important tool in preventing SEA. All participants signed the Code of Conduct and expressed a commitment to increasing the capacity of their organizations to prevent SEA.

The Director General of the Directorate of NGO’s, Mr. Mohammed Tahir Al Tamimi, welcomed the partnership between the Government, the United Nations, NGO’s, and Civil Society in addressing this important issue to protect the affected population in Iraq. He expressed his commitment to appointing a PSEA Focal Point within the Directorate to support ongoing efforts.

The Iraq PSEA Network
Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by aid workers is a serious problem that directly contradicts the very principles of humanitarian action. In July 2016, the Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator established the inter-agency Iraq PSEA Network, co-chaired by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and World Food Programme (WFP). The Network’s main objective is to implement the Secretary-General’s Bulletin on Special Measures for Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (ST/SGB/2003/13) and to promote further accountability to affected populations. The Iraq PSEA Network promotes awareness raising and capacity building amongst UN staff and other humanitarian actors and manages a community-based complaints mechanism for handling SEA cases.

For more information, please contact the Iraq PSEA Network Coordinator, Jennifer Emond: emond@unfpa.org; +964 751 015 7328 or visit http://www.pseataskforce.org/