Code of Conduct of Alternative Sociale Association regarding the Protection against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PEAS)

General purpose

The purpose of this document is to define sexual exploitation and abuse, as well as to establish employees’ responsibilities regarding the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse (PEAS) and the protection of victims.

The staff and volunteers of ALTERNATIVE SOCIALE ASSOCIATION will comply with the highest professional standards and will behave both during and outside the service, according to ethics and integrity standards, aiming to prevent situations of EAS.

Zero tolerance for sexual abuse and exploitation

ALTERNATIVE SOCIALE ASSOCIATION has a zero tolerance policy towards sexual abuse and exploitation (EAS).

Founding members, board members, team members (employees or volunteers) and contractors are committed to the zero tolerance policy towards exploitation and abuse. In case of deviations from this policy, the organization reserves the right to exclude contractors and terminate employment or volunteer contracts with these persons, under the conditions provided by applicable law.

Principles and Standards
  1. The acts of sexual exploitation and abuse committed by humanitarian workers constitute a serious abuse of office and therefore grounds for termination of employment.
  2. Sexual acts with children (persons under the age of 18) are prohibited, regardless of the age of majority or consent in force locally. Forming a wrong opinion about a child’s age is not an excuse.
  3. It is prohibited to offer money, jobs, goods or services for sex, including sexual favors, or other forms of humiliating, degrading or exploitative behavior. This includes making the provision of assistance due to beneficiaries conditional.
  4. Any sexual relationship between those providing humanitarian assistance and protection and a person receiving such assistance and protection involving misuse of rank or position shall be prohibited. Such relations undermine the credibility and integrity of humanitarian aid work.
  5. If a humanitarian worker suspects sexual exploitation or abuse towards a colleague, he or she must report the suspicion through established reporting mechanisms.
  6. Humanitarian workers are obliged to create and maintain an environment in which sexual exploitation and abuse are prevented and the application of PEAS provisions of this Code of Conduct, the PEAS Prevention Policy, the Internal Procedures Manual of the Association and the Organization and Functioning Regulations of the social services provided are promoted. Managers at all levels have important responsibilities for supporting and developing systems that maintain this environment.
Standard of Conduct

ALTERNATIVE SOCIALE ASSOCIATION ensures a safe working environment for all employees. Organization members, employees and volunteers are responsible for maintaining a safe and dignified workplace free from sexual exploitation and abuse.

  • Sexual exploitation” means any actual abuse or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, power difference or trust for sexual purposes, including but not limited to pecuniary, social or political profit from the sexual exploitation of another person.
  • Sexual abuse‘ means an actual intrusion or threat of physical intrusion of a sexual nature, by force or under unequal and coercive conditions.
  • Sexual harassment is any form of verbal,  non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature with the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of a person, in particular when creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.

ALTERNATIVE SOCIALE ASSOCIATION prohibits any other types of behavior of a sexual nature or with sexual implications that may offend, harm dignity or give rise to feelings of insecurity among members, employees, volunteers or beneficiaries. Behaviors such as sexual jokes, comments with sexual innuendo, accessing sites with sexual images, electronic exchange of such materials, any conduct or behavior that harms the dignity of a person are prohibited.

Obligation to Report

The organisation provides all staff/volunteers with several anonymous channels for reporting suspicions or situations of sexual abuse and exploitation:

  • boxes marked with the inscription: “PEAS complaints and referrals” located in the headquarters and working points of Alternative Sociale Association.
  • Notifications and complaints can also be addressed directly to the person designated as Focal Point PEAS of the Association.

Such cases may be reported anonymously.

The organization has an internal procedure for verifying each report of sexual abuse and exploitation and, when needed, the organization has a procedure for assisting and referring victims of sexual abuse and exploitation.

Also, under the law, the organization will notify the competent authorities about cases of abuse and exploitation.

Each employee/volunteer of the organization has the obligation to report suspicions or situations of sexual abuse and exploitation witnessed, using reporting channels within the organization.

Effective Date: 14.02.2023.

Date of mandatory revision: 14.02.2023.

Approved by Decision nr. 2 of 14.02.2023 of the Board of Directors of the Social Alternative Association