Adopted by the Board of Directors on 25 November 2019 to be reviewed in September 2024.
As an organization, the Interagency Coalition on AIDS and Development (ICAD) recognizes and is committed to upholding our responsibility to all the people we work with, particularly important because of the power imbalances inherent in our work. We are committed to creating an organizational culture that promotes a safe, respectful, diverse, inclusive workplace climate and culture. This commitment includes ensuring proactive, accessible and effective approaches that seek to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation, harassment and abuse.
2. Sexual Exploitation, Harassment and Abuse
ICAD is committed to promoting gender equity and gender equality1, and creating safe and respectful workplaces and programs that are free from gender-based violence by preventing and responding to all abuse of power, holding people to account, and protecting the rights and dignity of individuals. This is particularly important for people who identify as women and girls, or members of sexual and gender minorities and gender-diverse groups such as 2-Spirited people, transgender, intersex and gender non-binary persons. As a rights-based organization, ICAD must play a pro-active role by doing all it can do to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation, harassment and abuse.
ICAD is committed to ensuring the implementation of practices and policies that will protect and respond to our staff, board, volunteers and the communities we serve. ICAD does not tolerate individuals who abuse their position to sexually exploit, harass or abuse the very people and communities that we work with. Therefore, this policy applies to ICAD staff, the Board of Directors, volunteers, contractors and consultants.
ICAD adopts the definitions provided by the U.N. Secretary-General’s bulletin on protection from sexual exploitation and abuse :
- Sexual exploitation refers to any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another.
- Sexual abuse refers to an actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions.
4. Workplace sexual harassment is :
- Engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against an individual in a workplace because of sex, sexual orientation, gender expression, and sex characteristics where the course of comment or conduct is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome;
- Making a sexual solicitation or advance where the person making the solicitation or advance is in a position to confer, grant or deny a benefit or advancement to the individual and the person knows or ought reasonably to know that the solicitation or advance is unwelcome.
5. Examples of workplace sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:
- Making comments which are meant to offend or demean a person due to their sex, sexual orientation, gender expression and sex characteristics or actions which make people feel unsafe;
- Persistent unwelcome or uninvited invitations or requests;
- Displaying or circulating sexually offensive or derogatory pictures, cartoons or other material in print or electronic form;
- Unwelcome questions or unprofessional sharing of information regarding a person’s sexuality, sexual activity or sexual orientation.
6. As a coalition, ICAD is committed to:
- Establish a culture where all forms of sexual exploitation, harassment, abuse and discrimination are not tolerated in any of the work that we do;
- Improve our collective ability to recognize and tackle power imbalances and gender inequalities that create an unsafe work environment and can enable sexual harassment, and discrimination, including intersecting forms of oppression facing cis- and trans-women and girls, or members of gender minorities and gender-diverse groups including 2 Spirited Peoples, intersex and gender non-binary persons, and men;
- Ensure that the work environment supports the respectful, professional and consensual discussion of topics related to sex, sexual orientation, gender expression, and sex characteristics;
- Strengthen existing organizational policies and practices to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation, harassment and abuse;
- Create work environments free from sexual misconduct for staff and volunteers within our organizations and the countries in which we operate;
- Support survivors/victims of sexual harassment and discrimination;
- Benefit from each other’s experiences and strengths, and identify joint solutions, by sharing and building knowledge and capacity around survivor/victim-centred approaches.
7. Responding and Reporting Workplace Sexual Exploitation, Harassment and Abuse:
ICAD is committed to take all complaints and reports of workplace sexual harassment seriously by:
- Upholding its obligation of due diligence to take reasonable measures to provide a workplace that is free of harassment;
- Providing appropriate training to all staff to ensure shared understanding of policies, procedures and safeguarding mechanisms around sexual harassment and discrimination;
- Supporting our partners to take all appropriate measures to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation, harassment, abuse and discrimination of and by their staff, by working with them to build their capacity to fulfill the above commitments within their own organizations and operations;
- Examining and strengthening ways to empower communities in which we work to report all incidents of sexual exploitation, harassment and abuse;
- Working together to ensure that safeguards to prevent and counter sexual exploitation, harassment, abuse and discrimination are integrated throughout the employment cycle, from the start of employment through regular training and performance to the post-employment phase;
- Ensuring that safeguarding mechanisms to prevent and counter sexual exploitation, harassment, abuse and discrimination are properly resourced, including funding, time and space;
- Continuing to identify other actions and opportunities to improve our understanding and practices for the prevention of and response to sexual exploitation, harassment and abuse within our work, both as individual organizations and as a collective sector;
- Investigating and promptly correcting actions or practices determined to be in violation of this policy.
Complaints made under this Policy can be made using the Complaint Process and Procedures set out in section 8 of the Interagency Coalition on AIDS and Development (ICAD) Anti-Discrimination Policy.
9. Effective Date
This policy takes effect 25 November, 2019.
- Canadian Council on International Development
- Canadian Red Cross
- Government of Canada. Policy on Gender Equality
- Government of Canada. Status of Women. An Integrated Approach to Gender-Based Analysis
1. ICAD defines gender equity as being fair to persons across the entire gender spectrum, including 2 Spirited peoples, cis- and trans- women, men, intersex and gender non-binary persons. To ensure fairness, measures are often needed to compensate for historical and social disadvantages that prevent 2 Spirited peoples, cis- and trans- women, men, intersex and gender non-binary persons from otherwise operating as equals. Equity leads to equality. Gender equality means that cis- and trans- women, gender non-binary persons, intersex persons and 2 Spirited Peoples enjoy the same status and have equal opportunity as men to realize their full human rights and potential to contribute to national, political, economic, social and cultural development, and to benefit from the results. (Excerpt from: An Integrated Approach to Gender-Based Analysis, Status of Women Canada, 2004.)
2. Government of Canada. Sexual exploitation and abuse in international assistance
3. The Canadian Red Cross Society. Prevention of Harassment in the Workplace.