2013 | Easy to Read Guide on AMISOM Policy on Prevention and Response to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse
This policy has been devised by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and applies to complaints of sexual exploitation and abuse involving all AMISOM staff, whether uniformed or non-uniformed. The purpose of the policy is to inform military members of Troop Contributing Countries (TCC’s), civilian police officers and civilian personnel of AMISOM’s requirements, regulations and disciplinary measures in relation to incidents of sexual abuse or exploitation by its staff of beneficiaries of the mission. The policy forbids sexual activity with children under 18 and any exchanges of money, goods, services or employment for sexual favors. It also ‘strongly discourages’ sexual relationships between AMISOM staff and participants/beneficiaries of AMISOM’s programs. All the personnel of partner organizations, sub-grant or sub-recipient agreements must likewise comply with the policy.
Implementation of the policy requires high-level oversight, training mechanisms and administrative or disciplinary consequences for contravention of the policy’s provisions.
However the language of the document does not always convey that consequences will follow with absolute certainty: ‘Any violation of these Standards is serious concern and may result in disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, in accordance with disciplinary procedures of each AMISOM personnel and applicable laws.’
Recent reports (2014) on Somalia indicate that the eradication of sexually abusive and exploitative conduct by AMISON staff remains a goal rather than a reality.