Sexual Harassement Policy

Sexual Harassement Policy

The Africa Science Diplomacy and Policy Network (ASDPN) is committed to providing for her members and members of the communities we engage workplace that is free from all forms of sexual harassment. Our sexual harassment policy focuses on protecting men and women in our organization and the communities we engage from unwanted sexual advances and gives guidance to report incidents. Cognizant of the historic November 2018 resolution adopted by the  third Committee of the UN General Assembly on sexual harassment justifying the illegality of the act under international law, our leadership has thus unequivocally committed to fight harassment and reinforce mechanisms and procedures to prevent and address it. This includes enhancing grievance channels at all levels of the organization and supporting victims and whistle-blowers. Therefore when ASDPN determines that an allegation of sexual harassment is credible, it will take prompt and appropriate corrective action. The integrity of our organization is upheld by the conduct of each member, in any location, with full respect of the communities we serve.

What is Sexual Harassment?

It is unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. This may take the following forms:

  • Insinuation, proposal or demand for sexual favors of any kind.
  • Invasion of another person’s personal space (e.g. inappropriate touching)
  • Stalking, intimidation, coercing or threatening another person to get them to engage in sexual acts.
  • Sending or displaying sexually explicit objects or messages.
  • Commenting on someone’s looks, dress, sexuality or gender in a derogatory or objectifying manner or a manner that makes them uncomfortable.
  • Pursuing or flirting with another person persistently without the other persons willing participation. Also, flirting with someone at an inappropriate time (e.g. in a team meeting) is considered sexual harassment, even when these advances would have been welcome in a different setting. This is because such actions can harm a person’s professional reputation and expose them to further harassment.

For extreme cases like sexual assault, ASDPN will support any member of the network or from the communities we work with who desires to press charges against the offender.

Members and Community Rights and Responsibilities under the Policy

Any member of ASDPN or member of the communities we engage who believes he or she has been the target of sexual harassment is encouraged to inform the offending person orally pr in writing that such conduct is unwelcome and offensive and must stop. If the member be it from ASDPN or a local community does not wish to communicate directly with the offending person, or if such communication has been ineffective, the multiple avenues for reporting allegations of sexual harassment and/or pursuing resolution should be considered. Victims are encouraged to report the unwelcome conduct as soon as possible either directly to OEC or to a senior Department official or Coordinator. All reports must however be eventually transmitted to the OEC for proper investigation and sanctions. Senior Department official or Coordinator includes; the Executive Director, Office of Ethics and Conduct, Directors, Regional Coordinators, Country Coordinators, and Regional Focal Points. Sometimes, people who harass others may not realize that their behavior is wrong. Though this may be possible, it doesn’t make the perpetrator any less responsible for their actions. In cases of this nature, victims may be required to draw the attention of the offender that their actions constitute sexual harassment and they must stop.

Reporting and Contact Information

If you are being sexually harassed (or suspect another person is being harassed), please report to the Office of Ethics and Conduct (OEC). In serious cases like sexual assault call the Police and inform the OEC that you plan to press charges. We acknowledge that it’s often hard to come forward about these issues, but we need your help to build a fair and safe workplace for you and other members of ASDPN. To report cases of sexual harassment within ASDPN working environment, there are two options:

To report cases of sexual harassment within ASDPN working environment, there are two options:

  • Request an urgent meeting with the OEC. Once in the meeting explain the situation in as much detail as possible. If there exist hard evidence e.g. emails, forward it or bring it along to the meeting.
  • Send you complaint via email or phone call. If the email is addressed to your supervisor, make sure you cc the OEC to the email and attach any evidence or information that can be used in the investigation.

The OEC can be contacted via email at ethics.cond@asdpn.org

All ASDPN members are required to comply with this policy. Members are required to behave professionally and exercise good judgment in work-related relationships, whether with fellow members, partners or members of the public with whom they come in to contact in the course of official duties. Further, all members are expected to take appropriate measures to prevent sexual harassment. Unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature should be stopped before it becomes severe or pervasive and rises to violation of law.