Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) Network Lebanon: Covid-19 Tip Sheet

Publication language
Date published
18 May 2020
Tools, guidelines and methodologies
Accountability to affected populations (AAP), COVID-19, Epidemics & pandemics, Forced displacement and migration, Refugee Camps, Gender, Psychosocial support, Protection, human rights & security
Use in Humanitarian Programme Cycle
All phases of HPC

The outbreak of COVID-19 is severely affecting everyone in Lebanon and around the world. Experience from previous health emergencies, such as the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) epidemics in West Africa and the Zika virus outbreak, have shown that sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) is likely to increase as families are confined to their homes, schools are closed, movement restrictions increased and access to critical services and livelihoods may be compromised.2 Experience from previous health emergencies have also shown that the risk of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) is exacerbated, with affected populations expressing increased concerns over SEA.3 Overall, there are increased risks, particularly for the most vulnerable, in crisis contexts and therefore strengthening our commitments to Accountability to Affected People (AAP) and Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) is especially important.

Given the current situation in Lebanon and a huge vulnerable population, including Syrian and Palestinian refugees, vulnerable Lebanese and migrant workers, with a large population dependent on humanitarian assistance, compounded by a severe economic crisis, it is essential that humanitarian and development actors, including health responders, ensure prevention and response measures for sexual exploitation and abuse are part of all interventions. The below considerations, recommendations, key messages and suggestions for reducing SEA risks are intended to support these efforts. See also the “Interim IASC Technical Note: Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) During COVID-19 Response”, issued 31 March, for technical guidance.