A Guide for Canadian Organizations on Basic Legal Concepts

Fundamental Principles for Preventing Sexual Exploitation and Abuse

Digna’s overall objective is to support Canadian organizations in the international development and humanitarian sector to improve their ability to prevent and address sexual exploitation and abuse within their organizations.

Digna requested its Lawyers’ Working Group (LWG) to provide a memorandum containing A Guide for Canadian Organizations on Basic Legal Concepts to prevent and address sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA). The LWG presented its memo during the Cooperation Forum on June 23rd, 2021. Watch the full session below:

General overview of the guide

The guide addresses legal frameworks regulating prevention of and responses to sexual misconduct. In particular, the LWG provides information about: the duty of care required by organizations to ensure that their volunteers, employees, and program participants are protected from sexual abuse, harassment, and exploitation; basic principles organizations should consider when developing policy and conducting internal investigations; and criminal law responses in Canada and abroad. Finally, the LWG provides a brief overview of intentional consideration to protect traditionally equity-seeking groups who are LGBTQ2I, Indigenous, ethnic and religious minorities, and disabled persons, among others.

*It is important to mention that the information provided by the LWG in the guide is based on information available to them at the time of writing. The guide is intended to provide overall information that informs their work, not to inform any one specific case or incident. The guide does not contain legal advice. Specific issues, complaints, or requests should be addressed on a case-by-case basis with a legal counsel for specific legal advice.


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