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Frequently Asked Questions

Does OIOS/ID conduct criminal investigations?

No. OIOS/ID conducts administrative investigations within the UN system.

Do OIOS investigators arrest people?


Can I bring a legal counsel?


Will OIOS/ID answer telephone enquiries about ongoing investigations?


Who predicate an investigation?

The OIOS/ID directors.

Who can make a complaint?

Everybody can do that.

What is “sexual exploitation”?

The SGB defines the term “sexual exploitation” as any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust for sexual purposes including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically, from the sexual exploitation of another. An example of this is engaging in sex with prostitutes.

What is “sexual abuse”?

The SGB defines the term “sexual abuse” as the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. An example of this is rape or attempted rape.ST/SGB/2003/13

What is the difference between “sexual harassment” and “sexual exploitation and sexual abuse”?

Sexual harassment is defined as any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favours or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, when it interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment. It is particularly serious when behaviour of this kind is engaged in by any official who is in a position to influence the career or employment conditions (including hiring, assignment, contract renewal, performance evaluation or promotion) of the recipient of such attentions.

Not all sexual harassment involves an abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, trust or the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature. If it does, it also constitutes sexual exploitation or sexual abuse. Sexual harassment and sexual exploitation and abuse are all considered serious misconduct. All three should be reported. The person reporting does not have to specify into which of these categories the conduct falls. ST/SGB/2003/13