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Appendix A

UNHCR-Nepal Subagreement Amendment: “Standards of Conduct”

Subagreements between UNHCR-Nepal and its implementing partners now include the following amendment:

Standards of Conduct

Securing Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse

Sexual exploitation and sexual abuse may occur in many different forms. Sexual exploitation is defined as any abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power or trust for sexual purposes; this includes profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. Sexual abuse is actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, including inappropriate touching by force or under unequal or coercive conditions.

  1. Sexual exploitation and abuse by personnel working on Project/sub-Projects funded by UNHCR, constitute acts of serious misconduct and are therefore grounds for disciplinary measure, including summary dismissal.
  1. Sexual activity with children (persons under the age of 18) is prohibited regardless of the age of majority or age of consent locally.223 Mistake belief in the age of a child is not a defense.
  1. Exchange of money, employment, goods or services for sex, including sexual favours or other forms of humiliating, degrading or exploitative behaviour is prohibited. This includes any exchange of assistance that is due to beneficiaries.
  1. Sexual relationships between personnel working on Projects/Sub-Projects funded by UNHCR, and beneficiaries of assistance undermine the credibility and integrity of the work of the UN, and UNHCR in particular, and are strongly discouraged since they are based on inherently unequal power dynamics.
  1. Where personnel working on UNHCR Projects/Sub-Projects develop concerns of suspicions regarding sexual abuse or exploitation by a fellow worker, whether in the same agency or not, he or she must report such concerns via established reporting mechanisms.
  1. Personnel of Agencies, both nongovernmental and governmental, working on UNHCR-funded Projects and Sub-Projects are obliged to create and maintain an environment that prevents sexual exploitation and abuse and promotes the implementation of their code of conduct. Managers at all levels have particular responsibilities to support and develop systems that maintain this environment.

These six standards are not intended to be an exhaustive list. Other types of sexually exploitative or abusive behaviour may be grounds for disciplinary measures, including summary dismissal.

In entering into cooperative arrangements with UNHCR, Agencies and Governments undertake to inform their personnel of the six core principles listed above and work to ensure adherence to them. By signing a Sub-Project Agreement with UNHCR, the Parties to the Agreement undertake to abide by and promote these principles. The failure of partner agencies to take preventative measures to prevent abuse, investigate allegations of abuse and to take disciplinary actions when sexual exploitation or sexual abuse is found to have occurred, will constitute grounds for termination of a Sub-Project Agreement with UNHCR.

223 Executive Heads of Agencies (Governmental or NGO) may use their discretion in applying this standard where a staff member is legally married to someone under the age of eighteen but over the age of majority or consent in both their country of citizenship and the country in which they are stationed.

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September 2003