POLICY: Prohibition of Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse

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CyRC aims to ensure that persons working with and for CyRC, our beneficiaries and the communities that we serve, are protected from Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (SEA). For this purpose, CyRC upholds a strict Code of Conduct and has adopted specifcally the present policy on “Prohibition of Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse” (PSEA) that should be read in conjunction with the ST/SGB/2003/13 Special measures for protection from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse (9 October 2003).

The present Policy shall apply to all persons working with CyRC including staff, associates, partners, interns, volunteers, contractors, and anyone performing a task on behalf of CyRC regardless of the type or duration of their contract.

For the purposes of the present Policy, the term “sexual exploitation” means 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. Similarly, the term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions.

The Policy

CyRC is committed to fight against all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse as it violates universally recognized international legal norms and standards. Sexual exploitation and sexual abuse is considered unacceptable behaviour and prohibited conduct for CyRC staff and anyone in contractual relationship with CyRC.

To further protect the most vulnerable populations, especially women and children, the following specific standards are promulgated:

(a) Sexual exploitation and sexual abuse constitute acts of serious misconduct and are therefore grounds for disciplinary measures, including summary dismissal;

(b) 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 in the age of a child is not a defence;

(c) Exchange of money, employment, goods, or services for sex, including sexual favours, or other forms of humiliating, degrading or exploitative behaviour, is prohibited. This includes any exchange of assistance that is due to beneficiaries of assistance;

(d) Sexual relationships between CyRC Staff and beneficiaries of assistance, since they are based on inherently unequal power dynamics, undermine the credibility and integrity of the work of the organisation and are strongly discouraged;

(e) Where a CyRC staff member develops concerns or suspicions regarding sexual exploitation or sexual abuse by a fellow worker, he or she must report such concerns via established reporting mechanisms;

(f) CyRC staff are obliged to create and maintain an environment that prevents sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. Managers and coordinators at all levels have a particular responsibility to support and develop systems that maintain this environment.

The standards set out above are not intended to be an exhaustive list. Other types of sexually exploitive or sexually abusive behaviour may be grounds for administrative action or disciplinary measures, including summary dismissal, pursuant to CyRC Policies and Procedures.


CyRC defines misconduct as any failure by a staff member or associate to comply with his or her obligations under the bylaws of CyRC, the policies and procedures of CyRC and the contractual agreement between the member and CyRC.  

Possible misconduct can include:

  • Sexual exploitation and abuse of people of concern.
  • Workplace harassment (e.g. treating staff members in an unfair manner).
  • Sexual harassment (e.g. unwelcome sexual behaviour).
  • Abuse of authority (e.g. showing favouritism or discrimination against staff).
  • Assault upon or threats to others.
  • Breach of confidentiality.
  • Acts or behaviour that would discredit CyRC.
  • Non-compliance with local laws.
  • Conflict of interest.
  • Abuse of privileges and immunities.
  • Gross negligence.
  • Unauthorized outside activities or employment.

What is the procedure for filing a complaint or reporting misconduct?

Individuals wishing to file a complaint or report misconduct, may do so in writing or in person.

  • Individuals wishing to lodge a complaint in writing can do so in any language. Complaint forms are available at the Front-Desk and online through the CyRC website (contact us form) or via direct email to board@cyrefugeecouncil.org.
  • To arrange a confidential meeting to discuss SEA directly with CyRC, please contact us by telephone: +357 22 205959 or online (contact us form) or via direct email to board@cyrefugeecouncil.org.  You should only mention you want to report a case of sexual exploitation and abuse and a designated staff member will contact you. If you would like to receive a call, please provide a telephone number.
  • Or speak directly to any member of CyRC staff at our office, at a reception centre or in the community.

Complaints can be made anonymously however CyRC assures that all complaints are treated in the strictest confidence. By providing contact details CyRC will be in a position to carry out a more thorough investigation into the complaint.

Anyone making an allegation is encouraged to provide as much information and evidence as possible, and/or where to find evidence. The following information is encouraged to be provided when reporting misconduct:

  • What alleged wrongdoing are you reporting? Describe what happened, including as many details as possible.
  • Who committed the alleged wrongdoing? Was anyone else involved? Provide full names and titles if possible.
  • When and where did it happen? Indicate dates and times, if available.
  • How did the individual commit the alleged wrongdoing?
  • Why do you believe the activity was improper?

For more information on the protection policies of CyRC, please contact Tonia Loizidou at tonia@cyrefugeecouncil.org or the Board of Directors of CyRC at board@cyrefugeecouncil.org.