Ending Sexual Exploitation, Abuse, and Harassment

November 20, 2019

In recent years, the international development cooperation and humanitarian assistance community has increasingly focused its attention on addressing sexual exploitation, abuse, and harassment (SEAH).

Against this backdrop, the OECD's Development Assistance Committee (DAC) adopted the Recommendation on Ending Sexual Exploitation, Abuse, and Harassment in Development Co-operation and Humanitarian Assistance on July 12, 2019. The DAC Recommendation aims to end all forms of SEAH perpetrated by development cooperation and humanitarian assistance practitioners against their colleagues, implementing partners, and beneficiaries. Efforts to eliminate SEAH must entail a survivor- and victim-centered approach that puts emphasis on their protection and must embody a "zero tolerance" policy to ensure that all allegations of SEAH be investigated and dealt with accordingly.

JICA has been implementing necessary measures to prevent and address SEAH within the organization, as well as in its various activities. JICA staff receive SEAH prevention training, and the board member responsible for compliance has been tasked with overseeing the implementation of new measures to tackle SEAH. Those measures of SEAH prevention, including an expanded SEAH reporting system, will apply to all individuals involved in JICA cooperation projects. Should incidents occur, JICA promises to promptly protect and support the affected individuals and take a zero-tolerance approach to seek remedial action.

SEAH violates human rights and human dignity. It contradicts the concept of human security, the SDGs, and JICA's vision of "leading the world with trust." JICA is therefore committed to playing an active role in eliminating SEAH, and it will encourage partner governments and implementing partners to join the effort.

Shinichi Kitaoka