Sexual exploitation, sexual abuse and sexual harassment (SEAH) violate the rights and wellbeing of the people we serve and the people with whom we serve. Such behaviours are directly in opposition to WHO’s values and our abiding responsibility to do no harm. WHO uses the umbrella term “sexual misconduct” to encompass the full spectrum of prohibited and unwanted behaviour of a sexual nature (including rape and sexual assault) as described in WHO’s 2023 Policy for preventing and addressing sexual misconduct (1). This is because all such acts are prohibited – whether perpetrated by WHO’s own personnel or by implementing partners – and therefore constitute misconduct. The term sexual misconduct is also easier to communicate and translate, as victims and survivors do not always understand the complicated acronyms and definitions used by the United Nations (UN) and the humanitarian sector. However, we use the terms sexual misconduct and SEAH interchangeably as required when we interact with UN and other stakeholders.
prevention, response, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, humanitarian, sexual and gender based violence,