Wherever vulnerability and power collide, those entrusted with authority sometimes abuse their power in exchange for a personal benefit. Where that benefit takes the form of a sexual favor, the IAWJ calls it “Sextortion.”
Sextortion is a global phenomenon that has a devastating impact on women and other vulnerable persons. It touches almost every sector, thwarting access to government services, education, employment, justice, and the marketplace. Sextortion not only causes great individual harm, but, like other forms of corruption, has far-reaching implications for gender equity, democratic governance, economic development, and peace and stability.
Yet sextortion remains under-reported and receives scant attention from the anti-corruption community. The IAWJ seeks to change this and promote a gender-inclusive anti-corruption discourse and response. IAWJ members are leading the fight against sextortion with presentations, workshops, conferences, and awareness-raising activities in Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Morocco, Nigeria, the Philippines, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, and Tunisia. At the international level, the IAWJ has organized panels on sextortion at the 16th and 17th International Anti-Corruption Conferences (IACC), in conjunction with annual meetings of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, and at IAWJ’s Biennial and Regional Conferences.
Naming and shaming sextortion is the first step towards changing the discriminatory attitudes behind this form of corruption.
Join IAWJ members to stop sextortion by:
- Raising awareness about sextortion;
- Reforming anti-corruption laws and ethical codes to specifically prohibit sextortion;
- Collecting data on sextortion;
- Creating safe reporting mechanisms for women and other vulnerable persons;
- Providing whistleblower or other protections for those who report sextortion;
- Penalizing sextortion to the same extent as similar acts of corruption involving financial favors.
The effort to combat sextortion is but one way in which the IAWJ furthers its commitment to preserving judicial independence and integrity. Corruption within the judicial system makes it difficult to guarantee an effective judiciary, whether that corruption involves sextortion or takes some other form.