Sexual harassment at UNAIDS: Independent panel to submit report December

May 9th, 2018

By Hassan Zaggi

Barring any last minute change,A�A�the Independent Expert Panel on prevention of and response to harassment, including sexual harassment, bullying and abuse of power at the UNAIDS SecretariatA�A�will deliver its final report with its recommendations on the 43rd meeting of the PCB in December 2018.

This is even as the scope and nature of the work of the panel has been decided by the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board (PCB) Bureau following consultations with the three constituencies of the PCB.

It would be recalled that there has been allegations and counter-allegations of sexual harassment and other related human abuses at UNAIDS in recent times.

The panel is independent of UNAIDSa�� senior management and in its work will consult with United Nations Member States, PCB nongovernmental organizations, UNAIDS Cosponsors and former and current UNAIDS staff.

The PCB Bureau, according findings by The AUTHORITY, is composed of the United Kingdom, China, Algeria, the PCB nongovernmental organization delegation and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, representing the UNAIDS Cosponsors.

The panel, will among other things review the current situation in the UNAIDS Secretariat with regard to harassment, including sexual harassment, bullying and abuse of power and retaliationa��including by looking back over the past seven yearsa��to assess the organizational culture at headquarters and the regional and country offices; evaluateA�the effectiveness of existing policies and procedures to prevent and address harassment, including sexual harassment, bullying, retaliation and abuse of power in the UNAIDS Secretariat workplace and recommendA�a comprehensive set of prioritized measures on organizational culture, policies and fair and due process procedures with respect to harassment, including sexual harassment, and bullying, retaliation and abuse of power in the workplace.

The panel, findings by The AUTHORITY revealed, will review all relevant areas; look at UNAIDSa�� leadership and culture, policies and strategies to prevent harassment and the reasons for the low levels of formal reporting of harassment.

The panel will further review the investigation processes applied by the UNAIDS Secretariat and will make recommendations on how to ensure that these are fit for purpose and fair and will also make recommendations to ensure that the UNAIDS secretariat has sufficiently strong internal systems to identify unacceptable behaviour and take swift action in response to it and will make recommendations to ensure that accountability is visible and ensured at all levels of UNAIDS.

In its work, the panel will draw from lessons learned and best practices from other United Nations organizations and other partners.

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