Special Announcement


The yellow letter

WBFN Impact/Advocacy - The yellow letter

The World Bank
Washington, D.C. 20433
12:58:55 PM



To: All Bank Staff
Subject: October is Domestic Abuse Awareness Month

Dear Colleagues,
October is “Domestic Abuse Awareness” month and I would like to bring this very serious and sensitive matter to your attention. While domestic abuse, a form of abusive control, remains mostly hidden in the privacy of people’s homes, it is not a private matter. Rather, it is an important societal issue which cuts across cultures and social class. We know that it occurs in the Bank Group community, as in any large organization, and we know it is wrong. Since it involves illegal behavior, responsibility for combating it falls primarily to police and local authorities. But it is also a form of misconduct that the Bank Group will not tolerate, nor will we let abusers hide behind the organization’s privileges and immunities.

The Principles of Staff Employment, General Obligations, require staff to “conduct themselves at all times in a manner befitting their status as employees of an international organization.” This status imposes certain obligations upon us, including avoiding behaviors that could reflect unfavorably on the Bank Group. Those who violate this principle put their own reputation, as well as that of the organization, at risk. To demonstrate further how seriously we consider this issue, the Code of Professional Ethics is being amended to include a section on domestic abuse. “Living Our Values” must be about our work - but also about our families.

Resources are in place to assist those in our Bank Group community who find themselves in domestic abuse situations. There is a focal point for delivery of assistance services through an independent contractor. You will find details about this service, entitled The HUB, on YourNet as well as on the World Bank Family Network (WBFN) website. The HUB also provides confidential referrals for abusers who seek help in changing their behavior.

Let me be clear: there is no doubt about the professionalism, dedication, and integrity of staff of the Bank Group. Our work, though, is about more than the approaches that we take in pursuit of development; it is also about the behaviors we exhibit, professionally and personally. I ask you to join me in demonstrating respect and integrity at work—and at home.