There has been much discussion recently around sexual abuse in the humanitarian sector following the widely reported scandal at Oxfam UK in Haiti. But beyond the headlines, there is a recognition that no organisation is immune. This problem affects the whole humanitarian sector and its ability to operate, maintain public trust, funding and more.
The Graduate Institute and IRIN News co-hosted a frank and open discussion on what the #MeToo moment means for the humanitarian sector. Bringing together whistle-blower, investigator, NGO and donor perspectives, this discussion aimed to shift the debate towards a more nuanced and constructive examination of the issue. Watch the event recording and hear directly from Oxfam, the organisation whose internal investigation sparked the media firestorm.
THURSDAY 22 MARCH 2018, 12:30 - 14:00
AUDITORIUM IVAN PICTET | MAISON DE LA PAIX, GENEVA
- Elisabeth Prügl, @ElisabethPruegl, Professor in International Relations and Political Science, The Graduate Institute, Geneva
- Avril Benoit, @avrilbenoit, Director of Communications and Fundraising, Médecins Sans Frontières
- Hannah Clare, Global PSEA Adviser, Norwegian Refugee Council
- Jeremy Konyndyk, @JeremyKonyndyk, Former Director of the United States Agency for International Development, Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance
- Amira Malik Miller, Swedish civil servant and former aid worker
- Fionna Smyth, @FionnaCSmyth, Head of Humanitarian Policy and Campaigns, Oxfam GB
- Heba Aly, @hebajournalist, Director, IRIN News
With the contribution of:
- Maria Thestrup, Code of Conduct Compliance Officer, International Committee of the Red Cross
- Gry Tina Tinde, @TinaTinde, Gender and Diversity Coordinator, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
Organised in partnership with the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies.
It was The New Humanitarian’s investigation with the Thomson Reuters Foundation that uncovered sexual abuse by aid workers during the Ebola response in the Democratic Republic of Congo and led the World Health Organization to launch an independent review and reform its practices.
This demonstrates the important impact that our journalism can have.
But this won’t be the last case of aid worker sex abuse. This also won’t be the last time the aid sector has to ask itself difficult questions about why justice for victims of sexual abuse and exploitation has been sorely lacking.
We’re already working on our next investigation, but reporting like this takes months, sometimes years, and can’t be done alone.
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