POLICY: PREVENTING SEXUAL EXPLOITATION, ABUSE AND HARASSMENT
Policy Number: MTA0013
Date adopted: 26 May 2020
Authorised by: Board of Directors of Maluk Timor Australia
Date of reviews: May 2020 August 2022
Date of next review: May 2024
Reviewed by: Board of Directors of Maluk Timor Australia
Refer to Section 6 below for information on the process for policy review.
GOVERNANCE AND ACCOUNTABILITY STANDARDS:
- Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade – Preventing Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Harassment Policy – 4 April 2019
- Australian Council For International Development – Guidance for the Development of a Prevention of Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Harassment Policy –
- CHS Alliance – Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Harassment (SEAH) Investigation Guide
LEGISLATION OR OTHER REQUIREMENTS:
- Timor-Leste’s Domestic Violence Law 2010
- Timor-Leste Labour Code Law 4/2012
- Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 (Cwlth)
- Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cwlth)
- Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Act 1999 (Cwlth)
1. Purpose: Why do we have a Preventing Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Harassment Policy?
Maluk Timor Australia does not tolerate sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment (SEAH) of any kind. This applies to our own organisation and extends to those we work with including Associação Maluk Timor. We have adopted a risk management approach which emphasises enhancing accountability, improving support for people affected and driving cultural change through strong leadership. Maluk Timor Australia acknowledges that preventing sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment is a key obligation and responsibility of its work.
This policy will apply to all Maluk Timor Australia’s activities regardless of whether they take place in Australia or Timor-Leste. All Directors, contactors, employees, volunteers, and implementing partners will abide by this policy.
3. Policy statement: Our commitment
Maluk Timor Australia is committed to offering a safe work environment free of sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment.
This commitment is based on the following principles:
a) Zero tolerance of inaction
Sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment are never acceptable. Zero tolerance is not the same as zero incidents. Maluk Timor Australia recognises that achieving a significant reduction in SEAH is a long-term endeavour. For this policy Maluk Timor Australia defines zero tolerance as acting on every allegation in a fair and reasonable way with due regard to procedural fairness.
b) Strong leadership accelerates cultural change
Maluk Timor Australia leaders will set clear expectations and model respectful behaviour in their interactions at work. Maluk Timor Australia will support communities, victims/survivors, and whistle-blowers to feel safe, report concerns and be assured their allegations are taken seriously.
c) Victim/survivor needs are prioritised
Maluk Timor Australia’s action to address SEAH is underpinned by a “do no harm” approach prioritising the rights, needs and wishes of the victim/survivor while ensuring procedural fairness to all parties. This approach:
- Treats the victim/survivor with respect and dignity
- Involves the victim/survivor in decision making
- Provides the victim/survivor with comprehensive information
- Protects privacy and confidentiality
- Does not discriminate based on gender, age, race/ethnicity, ability, sexual orientation, or other characteristics
- Considers the need for counselling and health services to assist the victim/survivor with their
d) Preventing Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Harassment is a shared responsibility
Preventing sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment is everyone’s responsibility. Maluk Timor Australia will show leadership in its workplace and work with its partners to build capacity to deal sensitively and effectively with SEAH that occurs on the course of work.
e) Gender Inequality and other power imbalances are addressed
Maluk Timor Australia’s activities to prevent SEAH are based on respect for diversity, promotion of gender equality and social inclusion, accountability and a “do no harm” focus. It is noted that there are many factors that may result in SEAH. It is noted that children are at high risk of SEAH, and this is addressed under Maluk Timor Australia’s Child Protection Policy and Procedures.
f) Stronger reporting will enhance accountability and transparency
Stronger reporting allows better monitoring of SEAH, risk management and system improvement.
Maluk Timor Australia will apply this policy and, where applicable, the DFAT Preventing Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Harassment Policy, in accordance with the DFAT PSEAH Minimum Standards commensurate with the level of SEAH risk associated with the activities.
Maluk Timor Australia requires all Directors, contactors, employees, and volunteers sign that they have read, understood, and agree to abide by the Safeguarding Code of Conduct of Maluk Timor Australia, including the requirements to comply with this policy.
- Internal screening processes
Maluk Timor Australia’s internal screening process include stringent screening measures that strive to ensure inappropriate people are not employed or engaged with on voluntarily basis. Screening processes may also be applicable to Directors.
Screening processes may include:
- An Australian Federal Police (or equivalent) Criminal Record
- A Working with Children Check (or equivalent), where
- Background checks on all successful candidates before they commence their position, such as documented verbal reference checks are required for all Personnel including behaviour-based questions specific to SEAH or Child Safeguarding.
- Interviews may incorporate behaviour-based interview
5.2. Risk Awareness
Available data indicates that the majority of victims/survivors are female, and the majority of perpetrators are male. However, there are also other power imbalances that increase the likelihood of SEAH. For example, inequalities based on the distinctions of worker/beneficiary; ability/disability; ethnic and indigenous status; religion; gender identity and sexual orientation; age; health and poverty can also lead to SEAH. The intersection of gender with other forma of equality can further increase the likelihood of SEAH occurring. Children are at considerable risk of SEAH – particularly children with disability, children living in institutional or residential care, children who have experienced previous trauma or abuse, trafficked children or gender diverse children or young people.
Maluk Timor Australia is committed to promoting risk awareness through training of all Directors, contactors, employees, and volunteers. We are also committed to supporting Associação Maluk Timor to implement risk awareness through supporting the development and implementation of training, educational posters, and reporting information to be displayed in office and victim/survivor centred procedures including promoting zero- tolerance.
5.3. Risk Assessment
Maluk Timor Australia has adopted a risk-based proportional approach to PSEAH. Minimum standards (as defined by DFAT) are applied commensurate with the assessed risk. Risk and decision-making process is incorporated into existing activity planning and risk management processes.
A SEAH specific risk assessment will be undertaken annually for both Maluk Timor Australia and Associação Maluk Timor (as downstream partner). Risk mitigation and strategies will be reviewed to commensurate with the level of SEAH risk associated with the activities as part of annual risk assessment.
5.4. Minimum Standards
Based on the SEAH specific risk assessment Maluk Timor Australia will apply procedures that reflect the DFAT minimum standards. These are set out in Appendix 1.
Maluk Timor Australia provides a safe, supportive, and secure environment to report SEAH. Maluk Timor Australia takes all concerns seriously and response immediately. All reported incidences of SEAH will be recorded, regardless of whether substantiated or full investigation required. Investigations will be managed in accordance with the principles outlined in 5.6 of this policy.
Reporting procedures will be in accordance with the Maluk Timor Australia Policy – MTA017 Complaints Policy.
5.5.1 Reporting to and Monitoring by DFAT
DFAT requires reporting to help it monitor SEAH incidences. DFAT is committed to work with organisations or individuals to track incident management and to, over time, analyse trends and improve prevention and response strategies.
DFAT requires two (2) types of reporting:
- Mandatory and immediate
- Report within two (2) working days of becoming aware of the alleged incident
- Reporting DFAT partners of any alleged incident of sexual exploitation, abuse or harassment related to the delivery of DFAT business. This includes any incident that poses a significant reputational risk to DFAT
- Within five (5) working days
- By DFAT partners for any Policy non-compliance (e.g., failure to adhere to the PSEAH Policy Minimum Standards or principles)
Reports of abuse or exploitation of individuals under the age of eighteen (18) are to be made in line with the Child Protection Policy and Procedure.
Reports are to be made using DFAT’s Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Harassment Notification Form
Information provided to DFAT will be handled in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cwlth). Annual reporting requirements to DFAT are specified in agreements.
DFAT will monitor compliance through a range of approaches (performance assessments, reviews, NGO accreditation, due diligence) and non-compliance may lead DFAT to suspending or terminating any agreement.
5.5.2 Reporting to the Board
The Finance, Risk, Audit & Governance Committee (FRAG) and Board receive quarterly reports on any incidences of SEAH as part of its compliance program.
PSEAH risk assessments are undertaken and reviewed by the FRAG Committee. The PSEAH Policy is reviewed every 2 years or as appropriate.
5.5.3 Reporting from Downstream Partners
Maluk Timor Australia includes contractual obligations, including adherence to relevant policies (completing partner compliance checks), when funding downstream partners. We will collaborate with all downstream partners to ensure compliance with the PSEAH Policy and its requirements. Where appropriate, we will assist with information to support their compliance with PSEAH requirements and to develop their own policies, reporting processes and systems. Maluk Timor Australia will review partner compliance on a yearly basis.
Maluk Timor Australia’s primary downstream partner is Associação Maluk Timor. Associação Maluk Timor has developed procedures to investigate reported incidences of SEAH in Timor-Leste that comply with this policy and their reporting obligations to Maluk Timor Australia.
Mandatory compliance including reporting is specified in the Maluk Timor Australia and Associação Maluk Timor Relationship Agreement and subsequent funding agreements (as required). Maluk Timor Australia maintains oversight of compliance through quarterly reporting with Associação Maluk Timor, submitted to the Finance, Risk, Audit & Governance Committee (FRAG) and the Board.
The complaints and investigation procedures for Associação Maluk Timor outlines the process to report and inform Maluk Timor Australia of alleged incidences and substantiated incidences reported throughout various stages including:
- as the initial report is received,
- upon initiation of an investigation (based on outcome of an initial assessment, an investigation is necessitated), and
- outcome of the investigation including measures taken by Associação Maluk Timor relating to review of policy, risk mitigation procedures or strategy.
5.6. Investigation of Reported Incidences of Sexual Exploitation, Abuse or Harassment
Maluk Timor Australia will investigate all reported incidence of SEAH. All investigations will be:
- Survivor-Centred – safe, respectful, and non-discriminatory
- Transparent and Fair – investigations will follow due process, be impartial, objective and fact based
- Professional – follow best practice, be timely, coordinated with good communication
- Structured – thorough, process-oriented, and appropriately Where appropriate external assistance will be sourced.
Maluk Timor Australia may choose to use a toolkit from a Peak Body (e.g., ACFID or CHS Alliance).
Where safe to do so, and when in accordance with the wishes of the victims, survivors, and whistle-blowers, all alleged SEAH incidents that involve a criminal aspect should be reported through the correct local law enforcement channels
6. Breach of the Preventing Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Harassment Policy
Any suspected breaches of the PSEAH Policy should be reported to the Chair of the Board or the Chair of the Finance, Risk, Audit & Governance Committee in accordance with the Code of Conduct (4. Breach of the Code of Conduct).
As per the Code of Conduct, Maluk Timor Maluk Timor Australia reserves the right to inform the appropriate authorities where it is considered there has been criminal activity or an apparent breach of law.
7. Engagement with Community and Community Awareness
Maluk Timor Australia via the funding of Associação Maluk Timor is engaged with the community and promotes strategies to increase awareness of and prevention of sexual exploitation, abuse, and harassment.
8. Staff Awareness
Maluk Timor Australia conducts an induction session for all Directors, contactors, employees, volunteers. This session reinforces our ethos that all people are to be treated with dignity and respect. Part of this session includes awareness of PSEAH, reinforces Maluk Timor Australia’s has a zero-tolerance policy for sexual exploitation, abuse, and harassment and procedures.
Sessions relating to awareness and the prevention of, including but not limited to; PSEAH, Child Safeguarding, Disability Inclusion will be conducted every 3 years.
Maluk Timor Australia encourages all Directors, contactors, employees, and representatives of partner organisation to report any concerns of incidents relating to SEAH.
9. Working with Partners
Maluk Timor Australia will collaborate with Partner Organisations, local and international in the prevention of SEAH.
10. Other related policies and procedures
|DOCUMENTS RELATED TO THIS POLICY
|· Policies of both Maluk Timor Australia and Associação Maluk Timor (as implementing partner)
· Employment policies
· Child Protection Policy
· Gender Equity Policy
· Disability Inclusive Policy
· Maluk Timor Australia Whistleblower Policy
· Code of Conduct
· Complaints Policy
|Forms or other organisational documents
|· The Constitution of Maluk Timor Australia
· The Articles of Association of Associação Maluk Timor
· Agendas and Minutes of meetings of the Board of Directors of Maluk Timor Australia
· Agenda and minutes of the Finance, Risk, Audit and Governance Committee of Maluk Timor Australia
· Agendas and Minutes of meetings of the Board of Directors of Associação Maluk Timor
- Review processes
POLICY REVIEW FREQUENCY
This policy will be reviewed every 2 years, with additional periodic reviews as required.
RESPONSIBILITY FOR REVIEW
The Board of Directors is ultimately responsible for reviewing this policy and approving any changes. The Company Secretary is responsible for ensuring the review process is listed for discussion on the Board agenda.
The policy will be reviewed by the Finance, Risk and Governance Committee and then the Board. Notice of the review will be placed on the Board agenda and a copy of the current policy will be attached.
DOCUMENTATION AND COMMUNICATION:
Changes will be included in the minutes of the Board meeting and the soft copy of this policy will be updated accordingly. All hard copies will be retrieved and replaced with an updated policy duly dated. All relevant contractors and volunteers will be provided a copy of the updated policy.
12. Reference: Key terms and phrases
‘Associação Maluk Timor means the Timor-Leste incorporated entity.
‘Agreement’ means a contract, grant agreement or other arrangement entered into by DFAT and a DFAT partner, whether legally binding or not.
‘Contractor(s)’ means a person or entity engaged pursuant to a contract for services and includes specified personnel in an agreement and independent contractors.
‘DFAT Business’ means any actions taken or work performed by a DFAT partner pursuant to an Agreement.
‘Downstream Partners’ means suppliers, individuals and organisations who are engaged by DFAT partner to perform DFAT business.
‘Fraternisation’ means any relationship that involves, or appears to involve, partiality, preferential treatment or improper use of rank or position including but not limited to voluntary sexual behaviour. It could include sexual behaviour not amounting to intercourse, a close and emotional relationship involving public displays of affection or private intimacy and the public expression of intimate relations.
‘Grant’ means an arrangement for the provision of financial assistance by DFAT under which money is paid to a DFAT partner and which is intended to assist the DFAT partner to achieve its objectives as well as help achieve one or more DFAT policy outcome.
‘Maluk Timor Australia’ means the Australian incorporated entity, Maluk Timor Australia (ABN 54 121 715 446).
‘Perpetrator’ means a person (or group of persons) who commits an act of SEAH or other type pf crime or offence.
‘Sexual Abuse’ means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or undue unequal or coercive conditions. It covers sexual offences including but not limited to attempted rape (which includes attempts to force someone to perform oral sex) and sexual assault (which includes non-consensual kissing and touching). All sexual activity with someone under the age of consent is considered to be sexual abuse.
‘Sexual Exploitation’ means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust for sexual purposes. It includes profiting monetarily, socially, or politically from sexual exploitation of another.
‘Sexual Harassment’. A person sexually harasses another person if the person makes an unwelcome sexual advance or an unwelcome request for sexual favours or engages in other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, in circumstances in which a reasonable person, having regard to all the circumstances, would have anticipated the possibility that the person harassed would be offended, humiliated or intimidated. Sexual harassment can take various forms. It can be obvious or indirect, physical, or verbal, repeated or one-off and perpetrated by any person of any gender towards another person of any gender. Sexual harassment can be perpetrated against beneficiaries, community members, citizens as well as staff and personnel. Some examples of behaviour that may be sexual harassment include:
- Staring or leering
- Unnecessary familiarity, such as unwelcome affection or touching
- Suggestive comments or jokes
- Insults or taunts of a sexual nature
- Intrusive questions or statements about a person’s private life
- Displaying posters, magazines, or screen savers of a sexual nature
- Sending sexually explicit emails or text messages
- Inappropriate advances on social networking sites
- Accessing sexually explicit internet sites
- Requests for sex or repeated unwanted requests to go out on dates
- Behaviour that may also be considered an offence under criminal law such as physical assault, indecent exposure, sexual assault, or obscene communications
‘Transaction sex’ means the exchange of money, employment, good or services for sex, including sexual favours.
‘Victim/Survivor’ means a person who is, or has been, sexually exploited, harassed, For abused.
Appendix 1: DFAT Minimum Standards
The Policy takes a risk-based, proportional approach to PSEAH. Maluk Timor Australia must assess the level of risk for SEAH occurring and apply minimum standards accordingly. The PSEAH Minimum Standards are then applied commensurate with the level of risk identified.
DFAT PSEAH Minimum Standards
Obligation Applies to
Individuals Low Risk
|Very High Risk
4. Effective PSEAH training in place.
|PSEAH training for personnel, including downstream partners and individuals that deliver DFAT business.
Complete PSEAH training and provide evidence of this.
5. Recruitment and screening processes and employment
practices address and manage the risk of SEAH.
Can demonstrate robust PSEAH recruitment and screening processes for all personnel/consultants including having in place appropriate and enforceable standards of conduct.
Based on a risk assessment, assurances could include providing a recent police check, working with vulnerable people check or location specific equivalent that provides assurance reasonable SEAH precautions have been taken. Local requirements must also be followed.
6. Prohibit transactional sex for all personnel, while engaged in the direct delivery of DFAT business.
Prohibits transactional sex in the field for all staff and downstream partners while engaged in the delivery of DFAT business.
Employment agreements include clauses prohibiting transactional sex while engaged in the delivery of DFAT business.
7. Prohibit fraternisation for all non-national personnel, while engaged in the direct delivery of the DFAT business
Prohibits fraternisation for all non-national personnel in the field while engaged in the delivery of DFAT business.
Employment agreements include clauses prohibiting fraternisation for all non-national individuals while engaged in the delivery of DFAT business.