Oxfam approached DfSC to help their Safeguarding Team respond to a potentially very serious threat. In 2006 the United Nations (UN) discovered that sexual abuse and exploitation was occurring amongst it’s peacekeepers and support staff, and that sexual favours in exchange for additional aid and services in some parts of the world is a sad, but common truth.
Oxfam wanted to turn lessons learned from the UN into action and together with DfSC set the following intentions;
- To give clear information on the rules, make people feel that policies are enforced – no sex for work; no sexual exploitation of or exchanges with beneficiaries; there is a Focal Point with whom beneficiaries and staff can talk
- To help people feel confident to report instances of abuse/exploitation for themselves or on others’ behalf
- To help to take the Safeguarding work into the public space and start people talking about it (open dialogue)
DfSC and Oxfam’s Safeguarding Team created around 20 deliverables which will be provided to regional offices in around 37 country, translated up to 7 languages.“Every day we work to save lives and alleviate suffering among some of the world’s most vulnerable populations. We can do that job only if we have the full trust of the countries and people we serve. That trust must never be jeopardized by despicable acts like sexual exploitation and abuse”