Protection from Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Harassment Policy
1. Policy Goals/Statement of Commitment
The Diplomacy Training Program’s (DTP) VISION is a world in which all people have the freedom to advocate for the promotion and protection of human rights and are able to realise their human rights and achieve dignity. Consistent with its vision and focus on human rights for all, DTP is committed to advancing the safeguarding of those vulnerable to sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment. DTP is committed to promoting the principles enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and other human rights standards and principles relevant to protection from sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment (SEAH). DTP recognises that protection from sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment (PSEAH) is a shared responsibility for DTP, its staff, partners and trainers. It is committed to enabling a safe environment for all participants in DTP’s programs.
The purpose of this policy is to:
- Outline the structures that DTP has in place to maintain an organisational culture that protects all involved in DTP’s work from SEAH and ensures zero tolerance to inaction in response to SEAH is applied;
- Acknowledge that PSEAH is a responsibility that DTP shares with its partners;
- Outline the processes that DTP has in place to ensure that DTP Personnel are aware of the organisation’s values and principles and expectations in relation to PSEAH, and are aware of and comply with internal and external obligations for survivor centred investigation and reporting of SEAH;
- Provide a clear statement to all associated with DTP’s programs that SEAH will not be tolerated, will be fully investigated and disciplinary processes and legal responsibilities exercised;
- Reinforce the requirement to implement SEAH prevention, reporting and responses which prioritise the rights, needs and empowerment of complainant/survivors;
- Affirm DTP’s commitment to the safety and protection of vulnerable groups, including women and young people, and to the realisation of human rights;
- Establish a PSEAH Officer who can be contacted about reports or complaints of SEAH.
DTP recognises that SEAH is not acceptable in any part of its organisation or activities. This policy therefore applies to anyone who represents DTP or who is engaged by DTP. This includes, but is not limited to, DTP’s Board of Directors, staff, interns/volunteers, partners, and trainers.
This policy operates in conjunction with DTP’s other policies and procedures, including its Code of Conduct, Child Protection Policy, Complaints Policy, Incident Reporting Guidelines and Procedures, Gender Policy, Whistleblower Protection Policy, and Equal Employment Opportunity Policy.
- DTP acknowledges the crucial role of partners in meeting its PSEAH obligations and recognises the expertise and experience that many partners have in PSEAH:
– PSEAH requirements will be incorporated in partner due diligence and partner agreements.
– DTP will work with partners in providing/developing capacity on PSEAH training.
– DTP will consult with partners to ensure that responses to SEAH allegations are culturally appropriate, survivor centred and meet local legislative requirements.
- DTP will conduct its activities in a manner that minimises the opportunity for SEAH. This includes applying a risk management approach to SEAH and communicating clear expectations with all those involved in DTP activities of respectful relations in all interactions.
- DTP personnel are required to maintain a workplace free from SEAH and promote the implementation of this policy. DTP’s organisational Code of Conduct explicitly states DTP’s prohibition to any form of SEAH and the requirement to report any suspected or alleged instances of SEAH. The Code further notes that SEAH constitutes serious misconduct that may justify the termination of an employee’s employment or the termination of a contractor or other person’s engagement with DTP, participation in its courses etc. Criminal conduct will be reported to the relevant authorities.
- The Code of Conduct will be shared with all staff and volunteers, trainers, partners and program participants. Induction and ongoing training in relation to PSEAH will be conducted with staff, volunteers and interns to maintain DTP’s organisational commitment to PSEAH.
- DTP’s recruitment processes will include screening and reference checking with reference to PSEAH.
4. Reporting and responding to SEAH
All staff and personnel engaged by DTP are encouraged to immediately notify DTP of any concerns or issues relating to SEAH. DTP relies on this reporting to effectively respond to these concerns or issues.
Anyone can raise a concern or make a complaint to DTP about something they have experienced or witnessed without fear of retribution. This can be done verbally or in writing to a representative of DTP or to DTP’s designated PSEAH Officer. A copy of DTP’s Incident Reporting Guidelines/Form is readily available on DTP’s website and is included in materials provided to all program participants. DTP also has a Gender policy, Complaints policy, Child Protection policy and a Whistleblower policy, all of which may be relevant in considering and reporting SEAH.
For each program DTP and its partners will designate a PSEAH Officer to monitor these issues and to be the contact point for complaints and concerns. At the beginning of each program these individuals will be identified and made known to participants. Participants will be encouraged to report any concerns immediately and advised on how this can be done.
Responding to reports of SEAH
Complaints or reports can be made anonymously. Every effort will be made to maintain confidentiality throughout the process. Information that identifies individuals involved in a complaint will be limited to essential personnel and will not be shared further without obtaining the informed consent of those involved, except as required by law.
Staff involved in the reporting process will be made aware of the importance of maintaining confidentiality and may be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement. Employees who breach confidentiality may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment, and others who work with DTP may have their relationship with DTP terminated.
Accusations of SEAH are taken seriously. A complainant/survivor centred and “do no harm” approach will guide action to address SEAH. The rights, needs and wishes of the victim/survivor will be prioritised while ensuring procedural fairness to all parties. DTP will work with partner organisations to ensure that responses are culturally and gender appropriate and respond to local legislative requirements. DTP will respond to concerns or issues raised in a timely and appropriate manner. This may include conducting a safe, formal and independent investigation if necessary.
Where it is safe to do so and consistent with the wishes of the complainant/survivor incidents of a criminal nature will be reported to local enforcement authorities.
Where DTP receives a complaint or report about a partner organisation, contractor or supplier, DTP will expect that entity to respond safely, quickly and appropriately. DTP will assist the partner to ascertain its reporting obligations. Where appropriate, DTP will work with the entity to address the issue through an appropriate independent investigation. If the outcome is that abuse has occurred, ongoing work with the partner cannot involve the individual(s) concerned.
In some instances, DTP may be required to provide details of a report or complaint to a regulatory or law enforcement agency. It will do so consistent with its legal obligations. This may require DTP to identify the person who made, or who are involved in, the complaint or report to that agency.
5. PSEAH Officer
To make a complaint or report on SEAH, DTP’s PSEAH Officer should be contacted on:
Email: [email protected]
Tel: (02) 9385 3549
Appropriate PSEAH contact persons will be appointed for each DTP program. Contact details will be made available to all program participants. Complaints or reports on SEAH taking place on a DTP program can also be directed to DTP’s PSEAH Officer, DTP’s Program Coordinator or DTP’s Executive Director. Email: [email protected] Attention: Program Coordinator or DTP Executive Director
Original Policy adopted: August 2018
Revised and Renewed: November 2021
Date for Renewal: November 2024