Policy: Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse
[Updated policy coming January 2024.]
Consistent with its vision, mission and core values of respect, integrity and accountability, as well as its commitment to diversity, The SecDev Foundation seeks to create and maintain an organizational environment that is free of discrimination, harassment and sexual exploitation or abuse, and to ensure the same in all of its work with communities and partners.
The Foundation requires directors, officers and employees to observe high standards of business and personal ethics in the conduct of their duties and responsibilities. All employees and representatives of the Foundation are to practice honesty and integrity in fulfilling their responsibilities and to comply with all applicable laws and regulations.
The Foundation applies the standards set out in the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and expressly prohibits and will not tolerate any form of discrimination, harassment, or exploitation; be it physical, sexual or psychological, based upon race, colour, religion, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, or social status.
The OHSA defines workplace harassment as engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome. This definition of workplace harassment is broad enough to include all types of harassment prohibited under Ontario’s Human Rights Code, including sexual harassment.
The purpose of this policy is to clearly outline the Foundation’s policies and expectations on harassment, discrimination and the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse, and ensure that a clear process exists through which concerns, complaints, or allegations of wrongdoing—financial, harassment or other—may be raised, reviewed, and, where necessary, investigated by an independent source to resolve the matter.
This policy applies to all Foundation Employees, Board of Directors, and Related Personnel (including all sub-contractors and consultants), which includes the employees of partners with whom the Foundation has entered into a partnership, sub-grant or subrecipient agreements with.
The need for this policy flows from a recognition that our work can put Foundation employees and related personnel in positions of power in relation to the communities we work with, especially vulnerable adults and children. Foundation employees and related personnel have an obligation to use their power respectfully and must not abuse the power and influence they have over the lives and well- being of the participants of Foundation programs and others in the communities where the Foundation works.
These standards apply to all Foundation employees and related personnel and are intended to provide an illustrative guide (not an exhaustive list) for employees and related personnel to make decisions that exemplify the Foundation’s core values in their professional and personal lives. Any violation of this policy is a serious concern and may result in disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, in accordance with HR procedures of the Foundation. Any reported violations of this policy will be fully investigated by the Foundation.
Should you have any concerns or reports, please contact [email protected]