Gender Based Violence is referred to any form of sexual, physical, psychological, social as well as economical violence based on sex or gender that results in harming psychological, physical wellbeing and, growth and personality of an individual, including sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, rape, trafficking/forcing for commercial sex work. The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Constitution mandates respecting the rights to equality, dignity and freedom of humanity as per the International Human Rights Agreements and declarations with special attention to women, adolescent girls, children, the infirmed and people with disability.
Volunteer works are grounded on human rights framework and volunteers are guided and bound by the Volunteer Code of Conduct to protect the beneficiaries, the organization and themselves. Sexual violence, notably sexual harassment, sexual exploitation and sexual abuse, violate universally recognized international Volunteering Norms and Standards.
The Six Core Principles (IASC, 2002) listed here set as the standard for the Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse:
- Sexual exploitation and abuse by humanitarian workers constitute acts of gross misconduct and are grounds for termination of employment.
- Sexual activity with children (persons under the age of 18) is prohibited. Mistaken belief regarding the age of a child is not a defense.
- Exchange of money, employment, goods, assistance or services for sex, including sexual favours or other forms exploitative behaviour is prohibited.
- Sexual relationships between humanitarian workers and beneficiaries are strongly discouraged since they are based on inherently unequal power dynamics.
- Where humanitarian worker suspect or witness sexual abuse/exploitation, he/she must report such concerns or suspicions via established agency reporting mechanisms.
- Humanitarian workers are obliged to create and maintain an environment which prevents sexual exploitation and abuse. They should promote the implementation of the code of conduct. Note: Humanitarian workers referred to here are volunteers.