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Reducing the risk of sexual exploitation & abuse during crisis

May 6 @ 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm EDT

About this Event

The Manitoba Council for International Cooperation (MCIC), in collaboration with Digna, is pleased to present this webinar to support organizations in ensuring effective policies and procedures around the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA) are in place during times of crisis. Brigitte Demers, Digna Manager, will introduce Digna’s services and guide us through key principles of PSEA, and Kate Butler from Save the Children will discuss keeping children safe in a period of crisis and unrest. Grace Van Mil, from MCIC, will facilitate the discussion.


In this session:

  • Learn more about Digna, the new Canadian Center for the Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) in international cooperation
  • Explore concrete steps your organization can take to limit sexual exploitation and abuse during COVID-19 response and other crises
  • Ask questions about PSEA and implementation in your organization



The Canadian Council for International Cooperation hosts Digna, the Canadian Centre for Preventing Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA), funded by Global Affairs Canada. The goals of Digna are to increase awareness, use and sharing of gender-responsive policies and best practices, in order to enhance the ability of organizations working in international cooperation to reduce the risk of, and respond to, sexual exploitation and abuse.

Recently, the world has been plunged into a state of emergency to manage the COVID-19 pandemic. We know that in periods of crisis, the most vulnerable populations have limited abilities to ensure their basic needs and human rights, while others are privileged to control the flow of basic goods, putting them in situations of power. The urgent need to survive increases the risk that those in positions of power might extort sex (exploitation) or force sexual behavior (abuse) and then impose silence.

NO ONE should have to choose between aid and personal safety.


As of September 1, 2019, the Canadian government requires partner organizations to have a code of conduct to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation and abuse in place before applying for development and humanitarian funding. A code of conduct is not enough. As a sector, we ought to do better. As the IASC states:

“As with any emergency, PSEA prevention and response should be a central part of coordinated humanitarian action. The crisis does not create new responsibilities; rather, PSEA actions during the COVID-19 pandemic should strengthen existing PSEA commitments to protect and assist people receiving humanitarian assistance.”

Collective thinking and sharing experiences on PSEA are vital to Digna’s aim of ensuring organizations are equipped with guidelines, resources and tools to reduce risk and prevent sexual exploitation and abuse. This webinar will contribute to close collaboration and exchange towards this goal across the Canadian international cooperation sector.


This webinar is made possible thanks to the efforts of Digna, a project of CCIC, and MCICIf you have any questions or useful resources you would like to share, please contact Brigitte Demers at bdemers [at]

Please help us host an event that accommodates your inclusion needs by emailing info [at] with your requirements, or if you have any questions or concerns.


Pour la version française de ce webinaire, s’il vous plaît allez à: