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The Sexual Exploitation and Abuse Risk Overview (SEARO) is a Composite Index that brings together indicators on a range of different factors that can influence the risk of SEA. SEARO categorizes countries with ongoing humanitarian response operations according to their level of risk, enabling comparisons of risk between countries and assessing how those risks change over time.  

SEARO can help IASC members and donors to make more informed use of limited humanitarian resources towards priority issues and countries of concern. It is intended to help design effective mitigation measures by prioritizing countries for additional allocation of resources, capacity, projects, advocacy and stakeholder dialogue. It is expected that IASC members and donors will incorporate this information into their decision-making at a global level. At country-level, SEARO is intended to be used by inter-agency PSEA coordinators and members of inter-agency PSEA Networks under the umbrella of the humanitarian coordinator (HCs) and humanitarian country team (HCT) that hold the primary accountability, decision making and oversight authority on the protection from sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA) 

The SEARO Analytical Framework was developed from an initial pool of more than 240 potential risk factors identified through a literature review of 80+ sources and consultation with 28 experts. During the project's research and consultation phase these potential risk factors were reviewed, classified and organised to create the SEARO Analytical Framework.  


SEARO comprises four Dimensions and reflects distinct factors of risk. The first dimension is called Enabling Environment, which reflects contextual factors that exist in every country. The second dimension is the Humanitarian Context which reflects factors derived from the existence of one or more crises in a country, such as a conflict or natural disaster. The third dimension is called Operational Context, which reflects factors related to the response operation itself. The fourth dimension is called the Protective Environment and reflects the specific protective measures that are put in place to address SEA.   

SEARO is a collaboration of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Secretariat, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO). 


View the SEARO Index

Eager to learn more?

For more information on IASC SEA Risk Overview Index, please contact
 Wendy Cue, IASC Secretariat (
Ivana Chapcakova, UNICEF (




Sexual exploitation and abuse represents a catastrophic failure of protection. It brings harm to those whom we are mandated to protect.

The Inter-Agency Standing Committee is working to scale up protection from sexual exploitation and abuse across humanitarian response efforts. This website and global dashboard has been developed and managed through the support of UNICEF. It is dedicated to providing technical support and resources to practitioners, and to tracking inter-agency, collective progress across countries with a humanitarian response.