AID workers face ‘gross misconduct’ proceedings for sexual relationships with those receiving aid.
Britain’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has implemented a ban on sexual relationships between staff and individuals receiving aid. The Government has warned that aid workers who are found ignoring the ban will be facing ’gross misconduct’ proceedings.
It has also banned ‘sexual activity with children regardless of the age of consent locally, exchange of money, employment, goods, or services for sex.’
The ruling comes as the FDCO stresses the ‘inherently unequal power dynamics that can lead to increased vulnerability to sexual exploitation and abuse and sexual harassment if power is abused’.
Up until now, the official guidance was that sexual relationships between aid workers and beneficiaries were only ‘strongly discouraged’.
Sarah Champion, chair of the International Development Select Committee, said she was “appalled” to learn that sex with beneficiaries wasn’t a sackable offense.
An investigation by The Thomson Reuters Foundation and The New Humanitarian found that more than 50 women accused aid workers from World Health Organization, the U.N. migration agency (IOM), the U.N. children’s agency (UNICEF), Oxfam, World Vision, Medecins Sans Frontieres and ALIMA demanding sex for jobs during the 2018-2020 Ebola outbreak.
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