NATO adopts first-ever policy on preventing and responding to sexual exploitation and abuse

NATO has adopted its first policy on preventing and responding to sexual exploitation and abuse.

The policy, which applies to all personnel, makes clear NATO’s zero-tolerance approach.  This robust policy defines what behaviours are unacceptable, how to prevent them, and how Allies will work collectively to ensure accountability. The policy is focused first and foremost on prevention, and this is key for protecting women and girls and all who might be at risk. By raising awareness, requiring training, and taking other steps to create an environment conducive to the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse, the policy sends a clear message of enhanced protection and ensures the trust and confidence of NATO’s citizens and those of the countries in which the Alliance operates.

According to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, the policy is “another practical way in which we show our commitment to our principles and core values, including respect for human rights.

NATO is committed to advancing gender equality and the principles of Women Peace and Security across its tasks and functions – military and civilian. This work is guided by the NATO/EAPC Policy on Women, Peace and Security and the concepts of integration, inclusiveness and integrity, which stem from the Alliance’s core values of individual liberty, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.  The policy was adopted by NATO Foreign Ministers in November 2019 and endorsed by NATO leaders at their meeting in London in December.

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