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Wednesday, September 2 • 18:00 - 20:00
Sextortion: where corruption and sexual exploitation meet

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Since 2009, the International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ) has been working to raise awareness about a sexualized form of corruption that the IAWJ calls “sextortion.” Sextortion occurs when people in positions of power – government officials, judges, educators, law enforcement personnel, border guards, employers, or others – extort sexual favours, instead of money, in return for something that is within their power to grant or withhold, such as a visa, favourable court decision, good grade, dismissal of a traffic ticket, passage across a border, overtime at work, etc. Though such abuses of power for purposes of sexual exploitation might be prosecuted as corruption, sexual harassment, or even rape, too often they are not prosecuted at all.

The IAWJ would like to see anti-sextortion efforts institutionalized within the civil service by incorporating sextortion in government standards of conduct and accountability and judicial codes of ethics.

Strategies for accomplishing this include:
  1. Review and make specific recommendations with respect to codes of government accountability and ethical standards, identifying gaps and clarifying that sextortion violates those rules and standards.
  2. Develop curricula modules and other targeted tools for the training that those entrusted with power receive about their professional and ethical obligations.
  3. Integrate sextortion materials into training developed at the national level for civil servants, judges, court employees, police, and law enforcement personnel.

One of the biggest contributors to impunity for sextortion is that people often do not see it as corruption. When a District Attorney in Wisconsin barraged a domestic violence victim with text messages proposing a sexual relationship, the Office of Lawyer Regulation (OLR) initially found that, although inappropriate, the communication did not appear to involve professional misconduct. Would the same conclusion have been reached if the request had been for money? Months later, after the texts became public and there was a public outcry, the ethics inquiry was reopened and OLR found 11 possible violations. When a person who has been pressured for sex by a government official or other authority seeks help, it matters greatly whether the person from whom she seeks redress sees sextortion as a legal wrong.

The IAWJ’s vision for change is that cases like this, whether they take place in rich countries like the USA or poor ones, will not fall through doctrinal cracks. Officials charged with attorney discipline – or police discipline, or any other professional codes or rules of conduct – will not turn a blind eye to this kind of abuse of power. Thus, the most important action that can be taken to affect sextortion is to get people to recognize it as an unlawful and unethical abuse of entrusted power.

avatar for Ron Nixon

Ron Nixon

Homeland Security Correspondent, New York Times, USA
Ron Nixon is The New York Times’s homeland security correspondent. He is based in the Washington bureau, where he covers border and aviation security, immigration, cybercrime and cyber security, and violent extremism. Mr. Nixon is a Marine Corps infantry veteran who saw combat... Read More →


JP Bonner

JP Bonner is the Director of Technology at Not In My Country (NIMC), which builds web and mobile applications that empower citizens to fight corruption. His technology consultancy, Unqualified Software, operates a co-op program for developers and designers in four countries. His projects... Read More →
avatar for Engera Kileo Mammari

Engera Kileo Mammari

Justice Of Court Of Appeal, Tanzania Women Judges Association
Hon. Engera Kileo is a Justice of the Court of Appeal of Tanzania (Supreme Court) and has served on the Judges Ethics Committee (2007 – 2013) and Judiciary Rules Committee. She was the Founder Secretary of the Tanzania Women Judges Association (TAWJA), served as its Chairperson... Read More →
avatar for Dato Han Chee Rull

Dato Han Chee Rull

Chief Research Officer, Office of Legal Research, Office of the Chief Commissioner, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC)
Area of Responsibility: Investigation / supervision of investigations at the Headquarters level. The scrutiny of investigation papers and   submission of investigations papers to the Public Prosecutor. Discussions with the Public Prosecutors on cases as and when required. Tabling... Read More →

Session Coordinators
avatar for Nancy Hendry

Nancy Hendry

Senior Advisor, International Association Of Women Judges
Nancy Hendry has been the IAWJ’s Senior Advisor since June 2010. She managed implementation of IAWJ programs on “Naming, Shaming, and Ending Sextortion” and “Global Leadership of Women,” pursuant to grants from the Netherlands. She has a broad range of experience in government... Read More →

avatar for Stan Cutzach

Stan Cutzach

Governance Director, Transparency International
Governance successes and failures, anti-corruption policies and compliance, access to information and data protection, internal communication, running and kids.

Wednesday September 2, 2015 18:00 - 20:00 GMT+08
Hall 9

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