Organisations must consider safeguarding, or protection from sexual exploitation, abuse and sexual harassment (PSEAH), as key to aid worker safety and security. Safeguarding and security are connected areas of work. The level of security and safety in a specific location can be a factor that contributes to abuse happening, to the way in which abuse occurs, and to the effectiveness of the response. For example, an insecure environment may have few (or no) active safeguarding policies and practices, may have a less diverse staff and leadership and may be a more tense or uncertain environment in which to work. These factors can provide opportunities for abuse and harm and/or may encourage perpetrators to be more daring. Also, security staff or focal points may suspect or witness incidents of abuse or harm and may personally receive reports from individuals.
Security professionals can help ensure that: prevention measures are in place that reflect the level of safety and security in the context, response to an incident is survivor / victim-centred, and case handling and investigations are carried out safely. It is necessary for the relationship between safeguarding and security to be considered in organisational policies and procedures, including organisational risk assessments and Human Resource considerations, and programme-related tasks such as risk assessments, project design, and programme management.
The Safeguarding Resource and Support Hub (RSH) is a programme that aims to support organisations in the aid sector to strengthen their safeguarding policy and practice against Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Sexual Harassment (SEAH).
RSH supports organisations working in both the humanitarian and development sectors but is driven by the needs of smaller national or local organisations in the regions where it operates. RSH is committed to collaboration and is focused on developing contextualised products and services.
In the resource section, RSH has shared some core information on safeguarding and welcomes insights from security staff on how your work connects with safeguarding. Contact RSH here to share your experiences in your context and to ask them any questions: Safeguarding Resource and Support Hub email@example.com.