Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse Policy

Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse Policy

1. Scope

This policy applies to all Management Sciences for Health (“MSH”) directors, officers, employees, contractors, consultants or representatives acting on behalf of MSH (collectively “MSH Representatives”).

2. Importance of This Policy

Management Sciences for Health (“MSH”) places human dignity at the center of its development work, and has a zero-tolerance stand on exploitative and abusive relationships. MSH Representatives  must report any actual or suspected unethical behavior related to sexual exploitation and MSH has a duty to ensure that allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse are investigated and that appropriate disciplinary measures are taken.

3. Policy Statements

Sexual exploitation and abuse by MSH Representatives are acts of gross misconduct and are therefore grounds for termination.

MSH Representatives must refrain from sexual activity with any person under the age of 18, regardless of the local age of consent, i.e. the local or national laws of the country in which the employee works. Ignorance or mistaken belief of the child’s age is not a defense.  Failure to report such a relationship may lead to disciplinary action.

Exchange of money, employment, goods or services for sex, including sexual favors or other forms of humiliating, degrading or exploitative behavior by MSH Representatives is prohibited. This includes the exchange of assistance that is due to participants.

MSH Representatives will not request any service or sexual favor from participants of MSH programs, children or others in the communities in which MSH works in return for protection or assistance, and will not engage in sexually exploitative relationships.

Sexual relationships between employees and participants of MSH’s programs are strongly discouraged since they are based on inherently unequal power dynamics.  Such relationships undermine the credibility and integrity of MSH’s relief and development work.

If an MSH Representative engages in sex or sexual activities with a program participant,  the  MSH  Representative employee must disclose this conduct to his/her supervisor for appropriate guidance. Failure to report such conduct may lead to disciplinary action.

MSH Representatives will not support or take part in any form of sexual exploitative or abusive activities, including, for example, child pornography or trafficking of human beings.

MSH Representatives must report any concerns or suspicions they have regarding possible violations of this Policy to MSH General Counsel; HR Representative; Vice President;  use  the anonymous hotline at +1-888-418-0936 or email file a report online at They will decide on the appropriate steps, which may include referring the matter to the local authorities and supporting criminal prosecution.

MSH Representatives will not exchange money, employment, goods or services for sex, including sexual favors or other forms of humiliating, degrading or exploitative behavior. This prohibition against exchange of money for sex means MSH Representatives may not engage the services of sex workers while on MSH business, including on MSH premises or accommodation, or while travelling to/from or attending workshops, meetings and trainings, regardless of the local or national law concerning sex work or prostitution in the country.

Sensitive information related to incidents of sexual exploitation and abuse whether involving colleagues, program participants or others in the communities in which MSH works shall be shared only with enforcement authorities and MSH agents and employees of the appropriate seniority or function who have a need to know such information.

MSH Representatives must undertake to create and maintain an environment that promotes implementation of this Policy.

4. Definitions

Sexual exploitation = any actual 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 from the exploitation of someone else.

Sexual abuse = actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force, coercion or under unequal conditions.

MSH Provider = MSH personnel, vendors, interns and consultants or other third party acting on behalf of MSH.