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The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is committed to implementing the United Nations zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA), in line with the Secretary- General’s bulletin on “Special measures for protection from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse” (ST/SGB/2003/13).

In 2017, the Secretary-General outlined a strategy (A/71/818)to improve the Organization’s system-wide approach to preventing and responding to SEA that focuses on four pillars: (a) prioritizing the rights and dignity of victims, (b) ending impunity, (c) engaging with civil society and external partners and (d) improving strategic communication for education and transparency. The objective of the strategy is to strengthen accountability for the prevention of and response to SEA across the United Nations system at all levels. Leaders are accountable for creating an environment that prevents SEA and where complaints can be made confidentially and without retaliation.

These standard operating procedures (SOPs) have been developed to facilitate clear and decisive action to prevent SEA, to mitigate risks and to respond effectively. These SOPs are applicable to all OCHA operations at the headquarters, regional and country level. They are applicable to all OCHA staff and non-staff personnel, as defined in this document. SOPs related to allegations of SEA by implementing partners are discussed in section 3 of this document.

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