Code of Conduct to Prevent and Respond to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse
The purpose of this code of conduct is to clearly articulate to internal and external stakeholders our commitments, expectations, standards and processes for preventing and responding to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse within our organization and as it applies to our programs.
From Houses to Homes Canada adopts the U.N. Secretary-General’s definition on protection from sexual exploitation and abuse as follows:
- Sexual exploitation: Any actual or attempted abuse of position of vulnerability, differential power of trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another.
- Sexual abuse: Actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions.
- Sexual Harassment: Any unwanted sexual advance, request for sexual favour, verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.
Note: Sexual activity with children (persons under the age of 18) is prohibited regardless of the age of majority or age of consent locally. Not knowing or mistaking the age of a child is not a defence.
From Houses to Homes Canada commits to:
- Establishing a culture of zero tolerance to all forms of sexual violence in all the work that we do;
- Creating a work environment free from sexual violence for staff, volunteers, partners and local populations within our organizations;
- Protecting people involved in our programs and the communities we serve from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse, especially children.
From Houses to Homes Canada abides by the following principles on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, adopted by the United Nations’ Inter-Agency Standing Committee Task Force on Prevention and Response to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse:
- Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by FHTHC and its representatives constitutes acts of gross misconduct and are therefore grounds for disciplinary actions.
- Sexual activity with children (persons under the age of 18) is prohibited regardless of the age of majority or age of consent locally. Mistaken belief regarding the age of a child is not a defense and in no way shall ignorance of the age of the person be accepted as a justification.
- Exchange of money, employment, goods, or services for sex, including sexual favors or other forms of humiliating, degrading or exploitative behavior is prohibited. This includes exchange for assistance that is due to community members.
- Sexual relationships between FHTHC volunteers and members of the community are strongly prohibited since they are based on inherently unequal power dynamics. Such relationships undermine the credibility and integrity of our work.
- When FHTHC and its representatives develop concerns or suspicions regarding sexual abuse by an individual, whether the individual works for FHTHC or other organizations, partners, suppliers or other related stakeholders, they are mandated by a legal and moral duty of care. They must report such concerns through the means and tools available with the organization’s reporting mechanisms. The management must be informed about all the concerns, suspicions, including rumors, in good faith, regarding sexual abuse allegations.
- All FHTHC and its representatives are obliged to create and maintain an environment that prevents sexual abuse and promotes the implementation of the Code of Conduct. Management has the particular responsibility to support and develop systems that maintain this environment.