Sexual Violence among Humanitarian Aid Workers
Sexual violence against and among aid workers has finally caught the attention of the public. Although it seems that the issue is primarily an industry problem, with both perpetrator and survivors being of the aid community, humanitarian organizations have remained reluctant to tackle the issue. Part of this reluctance has included a lack of analysis and understanding about the legal options for aid workers who become survivors of sexual violence.
This paper shows key factors for why there is a sexual violence problem among humanitarian aid workers based on a content analysis from survivor testimonies. By embedding this evidence into a formal framework for violent crime prevention, I argue that the organizational culture and lack of adequate prevention policies in humanitarian organizations is a key contributing factor to the situational permissiveness that provides opportunities to commit sexual violence crimes. It further gives an overview of the current legal situation and obstacles for aid workers who experience sexual violence in the course of their work and concludes with a set of policy recommendations on how to improve the situation.