Definitions on harassment, abuse of authority - Canva Image

Useful Definitions

Harassment, Discrimination & Abuse of Authority

Let's define Harassment, Discrimination and Abuse of Authority

Harassment, sexual harassment, discrimination and abuse of authority are referred to collectively as “prohibited conduct” under UNDP Policy. Acquaint yourself with these definitions and generally memorize them. Detailed examples available in this online space should provide greater clarity. 


Discrimination is any unfair treatment or arbitrary distinction based on a person’s race, sex, gender identity, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, age, language, social origin or other status. Discrimination may be an isolated event affecting one person or a group of persons similarly situated, or may manifest itself through harassment or abuse of authority.

Abuse of Authority

Abuse of authority is the improper use of a position of influence, power or authority by UNDP personnel against UNDP or external personnel or a group thereof. This includes situations when the person in question uses their influence, power or authority to arbitrarily influence the career or employment conditions (including, but not limited to, appointment, assignment, contract renewal, performance evaluation or promotion) of other UNDP or external personnel. Abuse of authority can include a one-time incident or a series of incidents. It may also consist of conduct that creates a hostile or offensive work environment, which includes, but is not limited to, the use of intimidation, threats, blackmail or coercion.

Still unsure, browse the online centre for examples of sexual harassment, harassment, discrimination and abuse of authority.


A Guide to Recognizing Sexual Harassment 

Sexual Harassment Online Resource Centre