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PSEA Policy


Preventing Sexual Exploitation & Abuse Policy

Developing World Connections (“DWC”) is a Canadian-based international humanitarian and community development organization focused on alleviating poverty, promoting social justice, and increasing global engagement amongst Canadians.

DWC recognizes its obligation to operate in a manner consistent with the fundamental principles of human rights and human dignity. It is committed to the prevention of and response to sexual exploitation and abuse in all of its operations.

DWC will not tolerate its directors, employees, volunteers, partners, consultants, or any other representatives associated with the delivery of DWC’s its work (collectively “DWC Representatives”) carrying out any form of sexual harassment, abuse or exploitation failing to report any allegations of sexual harassment, abuse or exploitation, or retaliation against those who report or participate in investigations.

DWC has a zero-tolerance stand on exploitative and abusive relationships. It will also not tolerate behaviour that endangers the security of DWC Representative, beneficiaries of DWC’s programs (“DWC Beneficiaries) and/or the DWC organization or brings any of those either into disrepute.

DEFINITIONS:

Sexual harassment means any conduct, comment, gesture and/or or contact of a sexual nature likely to cause offence or humiliation or that might, on reasonable grounds, be perceived as placing a condition of a sexual nature on employment or on any opportunity for funding, support, treatment, or assistance.

Sexual abuse means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions.

Sexual exploitation means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including threatening or profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another.

DWC recognizes that the terms sexual harassment, sexual abuse and sexual exploitation are broad and cover a wide range of behaviors that are not limited strictly to the act of sexual intercourse. Because of this, the following activities are meant to be illustrative and not an exhaustive list of prohibited behavior:

  1. Acts of sexual harassment, sexual abuse and sexual exploitation including, without limitation:
    a Any action, conduct or comment of a sexual nature that can be reasonably expected to cause offence, humiliation, and/or other physical or psychological injury or illness;
    b Unwanted touching or physical contact of a sexual nature;
    c Forcing sex or sexual acts on a person against someone’s will;
    d Using sex or sexual acts as a condition of receiving support, treatment, or assistance;
    e Physical aggression, including rape, sexual battery, forcible fondling;
    f Recording sexual acts or interactions without the knowledge and consent of the participants to the acts or interactions.
  2. The exchange of, or an offer to exchange, money, goods, services, or assistance for sex, sexual favors or other forms of degrading or exploitative behavior.
  3. The exchange of, or an offer to exchange, recommendation for employment, offer of employment or an employment reference for sex, sexual favors, or other forms of degrading or exploitative behavior.
  4. Any sexual activity, or an attempt to engage in sexual activity, with a child regardless of local age of consent; ignorance or misbelief of a child’s age is not a defense.
  5. Sexual interactions or relationships with a DWC Beneficiary during the time they are receiving support, treatment, or assistance, regardless of whether the DWC Beneficiary consents to such interactions or relationships.
  6. Physical force or violence against a DWC Representative or DWC Beneficiary regardless of cultural norms.
  7. Behavior toward a child that is inappropriate or sexually provocative, including, without limitation, physical abuse, sexual abuse or exposing the child to sexual concepts or pornography.
  8. Use of language or behavior towards a DWC Representative or DWC Beneficiary that is inappropriate, harassing, abusive, sexually provocative or that is intended to shame, humiliate, or emotionally abuse.
  9. Use of a computer, mobile phone, tablet, camera, social media, email, or other form of technology, without limitation, to exploit or harass a DWC Representative or DWC Beneficiary, or to access or distribute child pornography through any medium.
  10. Use of facilities, vehicles or any other property belonging to DWC, or one of its Partners, for the purposes of sexual abuse or sexual exploitation.
  11. Doing things of a personal nature for a child or youth under the age of 19 that the child or youth can do for themselves (e.g., bathing, dressing), , while travelling on or participating in DWC trips, projects, or activities, without the knowledge and consent of the child’s or youth’s legal guardian and the approval of DWC.
  12. Sharing a bedroom with a child or youth under the age of 19, while travelling on or participating in DWC trips, projects, or activities, without the knowledge and consent of the child’s or youth’s legal guardian and the approval of DWC.
  13. Photographing a child or youth under the age of 19 who is not adequately clothed or who is in a pose that could be considered sexually abusive or sexually exploitive while travelling on or participating in DWC trips, projects, or activities.
  14. Failing to report a suspected, alleged, or known violation of this Policy in a timely manner.

OUR RESPONSIBILITIES

It is the responsibility of all DWC Representatives to report incidences of sexual harassment, sexual abuse and sexual exploitation being perpetrated by or against a DWC Representative or a DWC Beneficiary. DWC Managers, in particular, are responsible for creating and maintaining an environment in which DWC Representatives know what DWC expects from them and in which both DWC Representatives and DWC Beneficiaries feel able to report any suspicious or inappropriate behaviour.

DWC Partners must disclose to DWC if their employees contravene the Prevention of Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Policy and the expectations expressed in partnership documentation and must conduct facilitate, and/or participate in appropriate investigations.

DWC’s Executive Director and Managers will keep a record of all incident reports, investigations, and outcomes.

MAKING A REPORT

Anyone has the right to make a complaint about the behaviour or conduct of those associated with DWC and its programs including any inappropriate behaviour of DWC Representatives and DWC Beneficiaries.

How to Report Guidelines are included as a reference below.

INVESTIGATIONS

DWC will investigate all allegations of sexual harassment, sexual abuse and sexual exploitation involving DWC Representatives in a timely and professional manner and will engage professional investigators or secure investigative expertise if needed. Investigations are an internal administrative process and may not necessarily involve the police or judiciary. Investigations are carried out so that DWC can have the best information possible on which to base its decisions concerning the conduct of DWC Representatives and any consequences thereof. DWC may then alert the appropriate authorities if, following an investigation, it judges that:

• A crime has taken place;
• Confidentiality can be ensured;
• The victim is in agreement; and
• Those associated with the case will not be subject to further harassment, abuse, disrespect or violence.

CONSEQUENCES

DWC Representatives who are determined to have contravened DWC’s Preventing Sexual Exploitation & Abuse Policy will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action based on the severity of the conduct or behaviour, up and including termination of the relationship and any associated funding, support, treatment, or assistance.

TRAINING AND LEARNING

DWC will ensure relevant Representatives are aware of and consent to DWC’s Preventing Sexual Exploitation & Abuse Policy as a condition of their continued association with DWC and its programs. Without limiting the foregoing, DWC will ensure all new and existing staff are aware of and consent to DWC’s Preventing Sexual Exploitation & Abuse Policy as a condition of employment. Additional training will be implemented as appropriate or as policies are updated.

HOW TO REPORT GUIDELINES

To report of breach, or possible breach, of DWC’s Preventing Sexual Exploitation & Abuse Policy, please contact DWC’s on-site project or Manager and/or DWC’s Executive Director, as follows:

Developing World Connections 220-141 Victoria Street Kamloops, BC V2C 1Z5
Telephone: 1-250-434-2524 ext. 215
Toll-Free (in North America): 1-866-458-8209
Fax: 1-250-851-9813
Email: joshua@developingworldconnections.org

Please be sure to include the following information with your complaint:

• All facts describing the alleged event, issue, or matter;
• The name and title of each person involved;
• Dates, times, frequency, and locations;
• Facts relevant to urgency; and
• Documentation, witnesses, or other evidence available to support the allegation, including any laws or policies believed to be breached.

If you have decided to make a report, we ask that you provide your name and contact information so that we may better assess the allegations and follow-up with you in addressing your concerns. If you choose not to provide your name or contact information, you may file your report anonymously.