The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) says 21 staff members have left their job after revealing sexual harassment over the last three years. The ICRC general director, Yves Duchord, said individuals had paid for “sexual services” and had resigned or had been discharged from the agency.
Daword said on Friday it was “a difficult but important day”. Announcements come after the aid sector has been hit by multiple accusations of sexual abuse and exploitation by workers. Daword said “there were recent reports of sexual harassment by humanitarian agencies” that had spurred the Geneva-based ICRC to conduct an internal review.
Its code of conduct has explicitly prohibited the purchase of sexual services since 2006. “I have instructed my teams to erase the data we have about bad sexual behavior, and I can tell you that since 2015 we have identified 21 staff members who were dismissed for paying for sexual services or resigned during an internal investigation, “Dacord said.
Two other staff members suspected of sexual misconduct have not renewed their contracts, Daçord said, adding that he was “deeply saddened to report these figures.”
He said the ICRC, which has 17,000 staff members worldwide, was concerned that incidents that were reported were not actually reported or were not properly addressed.
“This behavior is a betrayal against the people and communities where we are to serve,” said Mr. Daçord. “It is against human dignity and we should have been more vigilant in preventing this.”
The ICRC Declaration promises that all future charges will be deployed firmly and consistently and that any employee found to have violated the ICRC’s code of conduct will be held accountable.
On Friday, 22 humanitarian relief organizations said they were “really sorry” after failing to stop the bad sex behavior from employees.
In a letter signed by top executives, agencies that include Save the Children UK and Oxfam GB vowed to do more to protect those organizational units that were created to help people.
Meagan Kozlovs is a reporter for Debate Report. She’s worked and interned at Global News Toronto and CHECX. Megan is based in Toronto and covers issues affecting her city. In addition to her severe milk shake addiction, she’s a Netflix enthusiast, a red wine drinker, and a voracious reader.