Special measures for protection from sexual exploitation and
The Secretary-General, for the purpose of preventing and addressing cases of
sexual exploitation and sexual abuse, and taking into consideration General
Assembly resolution 57/306 of 15 April 2003, “Investigation into sexual
exploitation of refugees by aid workers in West Africa”, promulgates the following
in consultation with Executive Heads of separately administered organs and
programmes of the United Nations:
For the purposes of the present bulletin, 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.
Scope of application
2.1 The present bulletin shall apply to all staff of the United Nations, including
staff of separately administered organs and programmes of the United Nations.
2.2 United Nations forces conducting operations under United Nations command
and control are prohibited from committing acts of sexual exploitation and sexual
abuse, and have a particular duty of care towards women and children, pursuant to
section 7 of Secretary-General’s bulletin ST/SGB/1999/13, entitled “Observance by
United Nations forces of international humanitarian law”.
2.3 Secretary-General’s bulletin ST/SGB/253, entitled “Promotion of equal
treatment of men and women in the Secretariat and prevention of sexual
harassment”, and the related administrative instruction1 set forth policies and
procedures for handling cases of sexual harassment in the Secretariat of the United
Nations. Separately administered organs and programmes of the United Nations
have promulgated similar policies and procedures.
1 Currently ST/AI/379, entitled “Procedures for dealing with sexual harassment”.