Prevention and fight against sexual exploitation and abuse
RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA prohibits sexual exploitation and abuse and considers it serious misconduct punishable by disciplinary action, including immediate dismissal, and criminal prosecution. RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA prohibits any sexual abuse and any sexual aggression. The association also prohibits asking for sexual favors or imposing any other form of humiliating, degrading or servile behavior on the beneficiary populations in exchange for money, employment, goods, assistance or services in the countries where it intervenes.
- RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA strictly prohibits sexual activities with children (persons under the age of 18) regardless of the age of majority or legal consent in the country concerned. The lack of knowledge of the actual age of the child cannot be used as a defense.
- Any case of suspected sexual exploitation or abuse should be reported immediately to RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA, for example via the Integrity Reporting Service at
- Reports can be made on the following website: https://mobile.interieur.gouv.fr/Archives/Archives-des-infos-pratiques/2022-Infos-pratiques/Signalement-des-violences-sexuelles-et-sexistes
- RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA is committed to informing the partners of the Policy on prevention and control of sexual exploitation and abuse, and to ensure that they apply the RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA standards defined below.
- Sexual exploitation and abuse issues will be systematically addressed information campaigns, trainings and meetings with vulnerable beneficiary populations.
This policy provides mechanisms to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse by defining the expected behavior of RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA staff and associates and to respond and apply sanctions at any time. Sexual exploitation and abuse is a serious matter that should be reported immediately to RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA, especially when it directly involves a RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA staff member, or when a RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA staff member witnessed or otherwise had knowledge of it.
Irregularities and incompatibility with the values of RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA Irregularities resulting in significant risk to RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA include, but are not limited to:
- Waste of resources;
- Any act that presents a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety;
- Sexual exploitation and abuse;
That being said:
- Staff members are required to report irregularities;
- The association has a duty to protect whistleblowers from retaliation;
- The association shall remedy irregularities by taking remedial and, where appropriate, disciplinary action; and
- Acts of retaliation constitute gross misconduct.
Non-staff members are also encouraged to report any suspected irregularities to RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA. The identity of the person seeking advice to report a suspected irregularity is protected. Confidentiality will only be waived with the express consent of the person.
RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA’s protection of staff and non-staff members allows it to learn of and address irregularities. This makes the association more accountable and ensures the integrity of its operations and programs.
Code of Conduct
As an international humanitarian non-governmental organization, RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA is deeply committed to the following ethical principles:
Integrity: behaving ethically and acting in good faith, with intellectual honesty and fairness.
Accountability: taking responsibility for one’s actions, decisions and their consequences.
Independence and impartiality: to conduct oneself solely with the interests of RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA in mind and under the sole authority of the President of the Association and to ensure that personal opinions and beliefs do not compromise the ethical principles, official duties or interests of RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA.
Respect: respect the dignity, merit, equality, diversity and privacy of all.
Professional Commitment: Demonstrate a high level of professionalism and loyalty to the association, its mission and goals.
Declaration of interest
The potential for conflict of interest can occur at the association level and at the individual level. Therefore, it is not enough for the staff to believe that they are doing the right thing; they must also be seen to be doing the right thing, using their best judgment and abiding by the ethical principles of RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA.
Generally, a conflict of interest arises when a secondary interest interferes with the primary interest of RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA and its staff. Conflicts of interest are not limited to financial interests.
Declaration of interest for staff members
RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA imposes strict principles of integrity, independence and impartiality. RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA staff members are required to declare annually any interests that may be incompatible with their mission within RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA.
Declaration of interest for the various stakeholders and partners
Scientists and other experts contribute to the definition of the missions of RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA, to be of quality, the work and contributions of the said experts and scientists must be truly and demonstrably independent and objective.
RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA has a rigorous process in place to protect the integrity of the organization in its normative function and the integrity of the staff, volunteers and other collaborators with whom it works.
RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA requires staff, volunteers and collaborators in advisory capacities to declare any circumstances that may give rise to a real or apparent conflict of interest.
Prevention and fight against sexual exploitation and abuse
Unlike sexual harassment, which relates to the behavior of RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA staff or collaborators towards their peers within the Organization, and which is addressed in the Code of Conduct and Harassment Prevention Policy, sexual exploitation and abuse relates to the behavior of RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA staff and collaborators towards third parties, referred to as “beneficiary” populations.
Sexual exploitation: the abuse 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.
Sexual abuse: any sexual violation committed with force, coercion, or unequal relationship, and the threat of such violation is also sexual abuse. Sexual intercourse with a child, regardless of the context, is also sexual exploitation and abuse, with a child defined as “a human being under the age of eighteen years”.
Examples of sexual exploitation or abuse
Sexual exploitation and abuse
- Sexual assault (defined as “any unwanted or forced sexual act that occurs without consent”) or the threat of sexual assault. Sexual assault occurs when the act is committed against a person’s will, using force, coercion, surprise, or when a person is incapable of giving consent, for example, because of coercion, or when the person is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Actual physical assaults, including but not limited to rape, forcible sodomy, forcible oral sex, sexual assault with an object, sexual battery, forcible fondling (e.g. touching or kissing someone against their will);
- Threats of physical assault;
- Emotional duress; and/or
- Psychological blackmail.
- Unwanted touching
- Demand a sexual relationship in any context
- Imposing a sexual relationship as a condition of receiving assistance
- Forcing someone to have sex, or forcing them to have sex with someone else
- Forcing someone to engage in prostitution or pornography
- Refuse safe sex practices
- Videotaping or photographing sexual acts and distributing them without permission
- Stating in legal documents that a person has a history of prostitution, or threatening to do so
- Addressing someone using sexual names
- Insisting on sexual things, including jokes that may be uncomfortable, scary or hurtful
- Telling a person that he or she or someone else is obligated to have sex, making it a condition for getting something
Background Checks – RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA reserves the right to conduct background checks on staff and volunteers.
Beneficiary population – people with whom RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA collaborates, and/or whose interests it serves or seeks to assist around the world, who are often in a situation of vulnerability and dependence on RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA staff. Beneficiaries are those people who directly or indirectly benefit from the humanitarian, emergency or other actions carried out by RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA regardless of the location. Among these people, women and children are particularly at risk of sexual exploitation and abuse.
Collaborators – persons who work for RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA without being staff members, including consultants, holders of agreements for the execution of service assignments, letters of agreement, temporary advisors, interns and volunteers, as well as third parties such as subcontractors, suppliers or technical partners bound to RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA by a contract.
Partner – an organization whose staff and associates execute a project or undertake any other activity on behalf of RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA, under a contract with or on behalf of the Organization.
Victim – a person who is or has been sexually exploited or abused
The purpose of this policy is to:
– Define sexual exploitation and abuse and the code of conduct that should be observed by RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA staff members with regard to sexual relationships with beneficiaries;
– Identify measures to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse;
– Develop specific mechanisms for reporting sexual exploitation or abuse; and
– Develop mechanisms for RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA to take effective action on issues of sexual exploitation and abuse.
This policy applies to all RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA staff, regardless of location, rank, nature or duration of employment.
In its spirit and principles, this policy applies equally to all employees of RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA employees, regardless of the category of employment or remuneration to which they belong. This includes persons under contract to RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA, such as holders of special service agreements, and third parties such as subcontractors, suppliers or technical partners.
The policy is public and published online on the RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA website. Related internal policies, procedures and contractual documents will be amended to reflect the safeguards put in place, including the code of conduct.
3. Humanitarian action and the fight against abuse and exploitation
❖ Humanitarian action, emergency situations and development
It is essential to support and promote policies on sexual exploitation and abuse for all RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA operations and in all countries.
This is particularly important in emergency situations, when quick action is needed to recruit and decisions are made quickly to conduct life-saving humanitarian operations. It is with these situations in mind that staff members, especially administrators who have special responsibility, should take great care in developing and applying these policies. Since relationships between aid workers and beneficiaries are by definition unequal in terms of power and authority, staff must be vigilant in avoiding any action that might imply that a sexual act could be required as a condition for receiving protection, material assistance or service.
While women and children are particularly vulnerable to sexual exploitation and abuse, all beneficiary populations, including young men, are affected. In the past, acts of sexual exploitation and abuse have been committed by aid workers who were in a position to distribute food, provide shelter, training, or medical care, but also to refuse these services. Abuse has also been committed by senior officials. Policies on sexual exploitation and abuse aim to ensure that mechanisms are in place at the outset to prevent and punish such acts at any time.
4. Essential principles
As stated in the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct, RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA staff must work and behave in a way that respects and promotes the rights of the people for whom they work. For this reason, and because the relationships between these staff and the most vulnerable populations in the beneficiary countries are often characterized by a power relationship that, by definition, is very unequal, especially in emergency situations:
• RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA staff are required to act ethically and report cases of suspected sexual exploitation or abuse of which they may be aware.
• RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA is committed to encouraging staff members to speak out, facilitating the reporting of misconduct, prioritizing cases of sexual exploitation or abuse, dealing with such cases promptly and effectively when they are reported, and ensuring that staff members have access to the necessary information. to facilitate the reporting of misconduct, giving priority to cases of sexual exploitation or abuse, and to deal with such cases promptly and effectively when they are reported, not retaliate and defend/protect staff members who come forward.
• RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA is committed to taking action to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse through communication and awareness raising.
4.1.1 Obligations of the staff of RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA
18.104.22.168 Obligation to behave ethically
In accordance with the RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct, RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA staff members are expected to conduct themselves professionally and personally in an unimpeachable manner and to act with integrity and discretion. In addition, if acts of sexual exploitation or abuse are committed by staff members, they damage the image and reputation of RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA and undermine trust in the organization. Staff members shall not use their official position to abuse or sexually exploit persons assisted by or through RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA. It is also prohibited to ask for sexual favors in exchange for money, employment, good or services. Staff members, especially those working in humanitarian crisis situations, should work together to maintain an environment that prevents such behavior.
Accordingly, and in accordance with the RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct, RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA staff members are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that is above reproach in both their professional and personal relationships and to act with integrity and discretion.
Staff members must not commit any act that could be perceived as sexual exploitation and abuse, and are also expected to create and maintain an environment that prevents such acts. This is especially true for RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA’s administrators and supervisors, who are expected to set the tone and conduct themselves in an exemplary manner. Failure by RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA staff to report allegations of sexual exploitation or abuse may be noted in their performance appraisals and may result in disciplinary action.
The list in the glossary box is not exhaustive. Other types of sexually exploitative and abusive behavior also constitute serious misconduct and are subject to disciplinary action under RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct, including immediate dismissal. They may also result in criminal prosecution under applicable national law.
To this end, RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA :
(a) Instructs the staff to refrain from any sexual activity with the beneficiary populations to which RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA provides assistance, as these relationships are characterized by a power relationship that is by definition unequal, and compromise the credibility and integrity of the work of the Organization;
(b) Prohibits sexual activity with children (persos under the age of 18), regardless of the age of majority or legal consent in that country. Lack of knowledge of the actual age of the child is not a defense. This prohibition does not apply when a staff member of RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA is married to a person who, although not over 18 years of age, has reached the age of majority or legal consent in the country of nationality of the persons concerned;
(c) Prohibits asking for sexual favors or imposing any other form of humiliating, degrading, dangerous or servile behavior on people receiving services from RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA in exchange for money, employment, goods, assistance or services; and
(d) Remind staff members who provide professional health services in direct contact with clients that they must refrain from engaging in sexual relations with clients and that they are also required to report all situations where, by the nature of their duties, they may suspect or see signs of sexual exploitation or abuse.
22.214.171.124 Duty to Report Sexual Exploitation and Abuse
RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA staff members who witness or have knowledge of acts of sexual exploitation or abuse committed by peers or collaborators of RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA, or by agents or employees of entities not under RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA but linked to the Organization by a collaboration agreement, are required to report them to RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA via the platform set up by the government. When people working for or with RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA report irregularities committed by a RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA staff member or collaborator, they are entitled to protection from retaliation.
RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA staff members who, by the nature of their duties, would be in close contact with the beneficiary populations, including through their own involvement in the provision of health services, may encounter situations where they suspect or see signs of sexual exploitation or abuse. They are required to report such suspected acts.
Failure to report known acts of sexual exploitation or abuse may result in disciplinary action.
Malicious reporting of sexual exploitation or abuse with the intent to damage the reputation of an individual or the Organization, or to take undue advantage of the reporting mechanisms for one’s own benefit, is considered misconduct.
4.1.2 Institutional obligations of RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA
In accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and international human rights instruments, RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA is committed to encouraging its staff to denounce serious human rights violations committed on a large scale through the appropriate means of control.
RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA provides a means to facilitate the reporting of such violations, prioritizing acts of sexual exploitation or abuse, and commits to respond to reports of such acts in a prompt and effective manner (e.g., through investigation and appropriate sanctions), to not retaliate, and to defend/protect staff members who come forward. In addition, RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA is committed to taking steps to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse by adopting a communication and awareness plan, and by instituting monitoring and tracking of information related to sexual exploitation and abuse.
5 Prevention, control and monitoring of information
5.1 Awareness, communication and information dissemination
RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA will develop a communication strategy to support the dissemination and implementation of this policy and to raise awareness throughout the organization of the issue of sexual exploitation and abuse and its potential impact. The plan will provide for:
– Dissemination of the policy on the websites of RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA at all levels of the organization.
– An awareness/training program on sexual exploitation and abuse.
– An information program for RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA staff and partner organizations on the policy, as well as measures such as adding a clause on sexual exploitation and abuse and the external integrity reporting service to standard contractual agreements.
– A communication campaign to inform beneficiaries in the Organization’s field offices.
As part of the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse and awareness RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA will provide an annual training to inform about ethical values, especially for vulnerable situations. They will be informed about the mechanisms to identify sexual exploitation or abuse and will be informed about the reflexes to have in order to report it to the authorities.
6 Reporting and responding to sexual exploitation and abuse
6.1 Reporting Mechanisms
6.1.1. Integrity Reporting Service
Anyone can report such conduct to
The identity of individuals who contact will be protected. The rule of confidentiality will only be waived with the express consent of the person concerned, unless the Committee considers that there is a clear or imminent danger to the person concerned or another person. His or her name will not be revealed to the person potentially involved in the alleged irregularity or to any other person unless he or she authorizes the disclosure of his or her identity.
This may be necessary during the subsequent investigation process.
RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA undertakes, whenever necessary and within the limits of its corporate purpose and means, to provide assistance and support to any person who reports a case of sexual exploitation or abuse acting in good faith, or who has cooperated in an investigation of suspected sexual exploitation or abuse.
6.2 RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA’s mechanisms for responding to reports of sexual exploitation and abuse
RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA has established mechanisms to ensure that reports of sexual exploitation and abuse are treated as a priority.
As a matter of priority, RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA will initiate an investigation into the alleged acts of sexual exploitation or abuse to establish the facts. Depending on the seriousness of the situation and the evidence available, RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA will refer the case to the national authorities for criminal prosecution where appropriate, and will cooperate with those authorities, including waiving immunity.
Once the investigation is completed, the President will decide on the procedure to be followed at RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA. This will not preclude the initiation of criminal proceedings at the national level.
6.2.2 Disciplinary measures for RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA staff members
Depending on the seriousness of the proven cases of sexual exploitation or abuse of RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA staff members, and in addition to criminal convictions resulting from legal proceedings where national authorities have been seized, or other measures against the staff members concerned, RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA will apply the disciplinary measures provided for in Article 7 of the Statutes, including, if necessary, immediate dismissal.
Disciplinary action will also be taken against staff members who are found to have failed to report, encouraged or condoned acts of sexual exploitation or abuse.
Malicious reporting of sexual exploitation or abuse without evidence or reasonable suspicion, made with the intent to harm the integrity or reputation of another, constitutes misconduct and will be subject to disciplinary action. This is to be distinguished from reports of alleged misconduct made in good faith and based on belief and information available at the time of reporting, which may not be confirmed by the subsequent investigation.
6.2.3 Action in case of violation of the provisions of this policy by employees of RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA.
126.96.36.199 Actions in the Event of Employee Violations of this Policy
If acts of sexual exploitation or abuse occur in relation to employees, RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA will take action on a case-by-case basis. If it is found that the acts have taken place, RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA shall be entitled to take the following measures:
– Immediate termination of the contractual relationship (for individuals under an agreement that does not confer staff status or another collaborative agreement);
– Where individuals are found to have participated in, encouraged, or condoned acts of sexual
Exploitation or abuse, a notation will be made in RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA’s records to prevent such individuals from applying for future bids and from having any further contractual relationships with RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA.
RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA reserves the right to pass on to other organizations operating in the territory concerned, information concerning the measures taken against employees who have committed acts of sexual exploitation or abuse.
188.8.131.52 Action in the event of a breach of the provisions of this policy by employees or other persons engaged by third parties working with RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA
RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA’s standard contracts and bidding templates will be amended to include a clause requiring RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA’s suppliers to take all appropriate measures to prevent and respond to acts of sexual exploitation or abuse by their employees or other persons engaged by the suppliers to perform the services under the contract. If a supplier violates this provision, RENAISSANCE SRI LANKA shall be entitled to terminate the contract with immediate effect.