ARDD Statement: Zero tolerance for Harassment and Sexual Exploitation
The Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development - ARDD strongly condemns any and all forms of abuse, exploitation and misconduct in the development and humanitarian response sector. ARDD is deeply and profoundly saddened by the recent reports on breaches of the do-no-harm principles that guide all our daily work.
As an organization that provides protection services and assistance to the most vulnerable individuals within our community and enhances access to justice, ARDD encourages all organizations in the region to enhance their safe guarding policies and take immediate and rigorous action in line with strict internal policies and procedures should any form of misconduct by their staff or associated personnel be reported. We encourage to invest in and to require all staff and personnel to attend training sessions on professional ethics and ensure that trainings regarding their code of conduct and policies and procedures on anti-harassment, do-no-harm principles, safeguarding and accountability and transparency towards affected populations are implemented in order to preempt any future misconduct. In addition, ARDD urges all stakeholders to resort to legal channels to report breaches and demonstrate trust in the legal rule of law in the region.
This terrible account is a reminder of the critical importance of advocating for strict monitoring within the aid sector in which agencies must be held accountable and an effective international process of investigation must be in place. At the same time, ARDD would like to emphasize highlight that while the failures of specific individuals, both in their actions and inactions, warrant consequences this should not lead to affecting those who are in need of support most.
It is therefore critical that organizations and their dedicated staffs be allowed to continue delivering services while we carry on our collective efforts to deliver impartial and independent humanitarian aid in line with the highest ethical standards, when and where it is needed most.