IOM and WFP Launch Protection against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse Campaign in Pakistan
Islamabad, Pakistan — The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and The World Food Programme (WFP) in Pakistan launched the “PSEA at the Frontline: Together We Say No to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse” campaign to provide frontline humanitarian workers and partners with critical information about protection from sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA) through a dedicated package of communication materials in highly illustrated print, audio, and multimedia formats.
In conjunction with 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence, these materials were adapted and translated into Urdu and Sindhi for the context of Pakistan and were unveiled at the national level in Islamabad on the 2nd of December 2022 to members from UN agencies, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and other stakeholders. The campaign targets frontline workers as they play a key role within assistance programmes and interact with affected populations on a daily basis. The developed materials will help frontline workers better identify and report sexual exploitation and abuse and will play a crucial role in its prevention.
“It is truly inspiring to see the amazing turnout and support from different UN agencies and NGOs working in many different sectors, recognizing the importance of ensuring we work together on Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse,” said IOM Pakistan Chief of Mission Mio Sato during her remarks. “Even one incident of sexual exploitation or abuse can undermine the humanitarian aid work in an entire response site, because it breaks the beneficiary’s trust needed in order for humanitarian workers to facilitate the needed response and aid work.”
In his address, Chris Kaye, Country Director of WFP Pakistan, advocated for humanitarian organisations to use the material, “The campaign provides important tools to help provide frontline humanitarian workers and partners with PSEA knowledge to become strategic allies in its prevention.” He encouraged organisations to feed the information through to all their frontline workers noting that it had been translated into local languages.
Also present at the launch was Shah Nasir Khan, Head of the Resident Coordinator Office and Senior Strategic Planner for UN Pakistan. He remarked, “As climate change increases, gender-based violence and protection risks will also increase. Reporting of sexual exploitation and abuse is a challenge due to lack of awareness on the topic and reporting mechanisms which can be overcome with the support of materials launched today.”
During the launch, participants were asked to discuss the communication package and identify what they thought the key messages on the information, education and communication (IEC) materials were. Since the IEC materials are highly illustrated, participants could still understand the message in IEC material where there was no text or little text. “The launch of pictorial IEC materials is a key milestone. It is accessible and can be easily understood by people across different literacy levels and learning and reading disabilities,” remarked Noorullah Khan, Programme Manager, Society for Empowering Human Resources (SEHER), a local NGO in Balochistan.
The finalized Urdu IEC materials shared at the event will be uploaded to the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) PSEA website, where partners can download and share the materials. The campaign will include future consultations with humanitarian frontline workers in different provinces to collect feedback and allow for adaptation of the materials if needed. It will also include provincial level launch, in coordination with the PSEA network, and translation and adaptation of the materials in other local languages.
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