Governing Sexual Behaviour Through Humanitarian Codes of Conduct

Citation:

Matti, Stephanie. 2015. “Governing Sexual Behaviour Through Humanitarian Codes of Conduct.” Disasters 39 (4): 626–47. doi:10.1111/disa.12128.

Author: Stephanie Matti

Abstract:

Since 2001, there has been a growing consensus that sexual exploitation and abuse of intended beneficiaries by humanitarian workers is a real and widespread problem that requires governance. Codes of conduct have been promoted as a key mechanism for governing the sexual behaviour of humanitarian workers and, ultimately, preventing sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA). This article presents a systematic study of PSEA codes of conduct adopted by humanitarian non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and how they govern the sexual behaviour of humanitarian workers. It draws on Foucault's analytics of governance and speech act theory to examine the findings of a survey of references to codes of conduct made on the websites of 100 humanitarian NGOs, and to analyse some features of the organisation-specific PSEA codes identified.

Keywords: accountability, code of conduct, governace, humanitarian, PSEA, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation

Topics: Governance, Humanitarian Assistance, NGOs, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse

Year: 2015

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