Prevention of Sexual Harassment, Exploitation, and Abuse (PSHEA)


At CARE we have an unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people. Everyone in communities where CARE works expects and trusts that they will be free from sexual harassment, exploitation, and abuse. CARE employees expect the same in their workplace. Where abuse does exist, CARE puts survivors’ needs first.

Equipping Leaders

CARE USA has a full-time team dedicated to safeguarding, assuring that the prevention of harassment and abuse is a standard part of our everyday work around the world. For example, after Cyclone Idai devastated communities in southern Africa, CARE included a PSHEA and safeguarding adviser role on our emergency response team because we recognize that emergencies can leave people vulnerable and exposed to sexual exploitation and abuse.

CARE’s PSHEA leadership awareness training and preparedness workshops equip a wide range of leaders — in country offices, at the regional level and at headquarters — with the knowledge, behaviors and mindsets necessary to create a safe working environment and prevent abuse. Leaders have deepened their understanding of the complexities of PSHEA and how to create space for dialogue. 

We also have trained investigators for sensitive inquiries. This diverse group is ready to provide support across a range of languages and locations. We also have trained focal points identified by each country office — a network of trusted local advisors, trainers and monitors.  

Enhancements to Recruiting and Onboarding

We have incorporated safer practices into the CARE USA hiring process, updating our hiring platform and interview messages while ensuring consistency across our network. We have mandatory harassment training in place as part of onboarding and are incorporating online PSHEA course material from InterAction.

Promoting a Speak-up Culture 

Our commitment to PSHEA is about much more than a rollout of a few new processes. It requires the sustained attention of all of us because this issue is complex. It requires a culture of courage to change the societal norms that make people more vulnerable. We have created ongoing spaces for dialogue around this issue - learning from, challenging and supporting one another to live out our commitment.  We continue speaking out and learning with our CARE colleagues, our sector peers, partners, vendors and donors, and other experts in the field. 

Advocating for Solutions

In addition, CARE has led a global awareness and advocacy campaign, called #ThisIsNotWorking, to bring more attention to the issue and mobilize support for the world’s first global treaty against workplace sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse.


We are committed to transparency around sexual harassment, abuse and exploitation involving CARE staff. A global transparency report that summarizes our 2018 cases can be found here.

Reporting Sexual Harassment, Exploitation or Abuse

We know people are sometimes reluctant to report sexual abuse or harassment. So we are committed to creating a working environment at CARE where people feel safe to come forward with claims of sexual harassment, exploitation or abuse. We take reports extremely seriously and protect witnesses as well as survivors. Reprisals against people for reporting are a breach of our code of conduct. We provide a website reporting mechanism for staff and anyone outside the organization. Concerns about any form of misconduct can be reported anonymously. 

CARE has put in place a single global CARE Line for receiving reports of fraud, misappropriation, discrimination, sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse, support of terrorism, and other wrongful conduct. It has support in over 100 languages, online or phone options, and anonymous reporting options. Any CARE employee or volunteer, partner, vendor, program participant, or other outside party may use this service to report wrongful conduct. CARE believes that any stakeholder has the right to raise a complaint, have that complaint addressed and receive a response.