Health Care Must Be Safe Care

Updates on the Protection from Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Harassment (PSEAH)

Health Care Must Be Safe Care

08 December 2022

People will not access health care services if they fear that doing so will result in sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment. Our goal of eliminating HIV, tuberculosis and malaria depends on the delivery of people-centered services that are freely available to all, without fear or favor, and maintaining workplaces across our extended partnership that are safe spaces where all can thrive.

It is imperative that all Global Fund-supported programs take steps to ensure that all staff, stakeholders and beneficiaries are protected from sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment (SEAH). We cannot entirely remove the risk of such abuse, but we can all do our best: to mitigate the risks of SEAH, create safe spaces that support disclosure of sexual misconduct when it happens, facilitate support services for victim/survivors, ensure accountability through victim/survivor-centered investigation, and report all SEAH allegations to the Global Fund as soon as they are discovered.

The Global Fund took an important step in this direction in February 2021, when it updated the Code of Conduct for Recipients of Global Fund Resourcesdownload in English | Español | Français | Русский ] and the Code of Conduct for Suppliersdownload in English | Español | Français | Русский ] to incorporate specific PSEAH and child protection provisions. A copy of the letter which was sent to all Principal Recipients (PRs) can be found heredownload in English | Español | Français | Português ] .

One year on, we want to ensure that PRs comply with the obligations and expectations included in these Codes. This includes:

  • Having policies and measures in place to prevent and respond to SEAH.
  • Incorporating the PSEAH provisions in contracts or agreements with sub-recipients and with suppliers.
  • Ensuring that all sub-recipients and suppliers acknowledge and agree to meet these PSEAH provisions.

The PSEAH Coordination Unit of the Ethics Office has created a PSEAH Self-Assessment Questionnaire which is being sent to all PRs this week. Ideally, the questionnaire should be completed by the PSEAH Focal Point. If one has not yet been appointed, the Communications Focal Point should complete the questionnaire, and the PR should appoint a PSEAH Focal Point as soon as possible. Only one response per PR is required. Please complete the self-assessment no later than 16 December 2022.

The questionnaire is the first in a series of activities which the Global Fund is rolling out to implementers to address SEAH risks. The next step will be to carry out a PSEAH capacity assessment at the implementer level, which will be rolled out in a phased approach starting in 2023. This will be followed by a pilot of a grant-level SEAH Risk Assessment and Mitigation Tool in the 2023-2025 funding period.