We are working with members, government and regulatory bodies to ensure organisations are equipped to prevent sexual exploitation across the international development sector.

Our commitment to prevent sexual exploitation in the sector

We recognise that in some cases the sector has fallen short in terms of safeguarding and let down the vulnerable people we work with. We are working with our members to ensure the high standards expected of the sector are met.

Working with members, we pulled together an agreed a set of principles for organisations to work towards. Read the full set of principles

22 of the UK's leading NGOs also signed a letter published in The Times and online, highlighting the sector's pledge to a series of measures to ensure that commitments are turned into action.

Actions to drive up standards

NGOs, DFID, the Charity Commission and safeguarding experts pledged to improve safeguarding standards across the international development sector at a Safeguarding Summit on 5 March 2018. For more information on the actions and pledges, read the joint commitment to improving safeguarding, which was signed by 32 organisations and government.   

You can also read the secretary of state's ministerial statement outlining the actions taken by DFID to strengthen safeguarding in the aid sector, as well as a high level summary of safeguarding assurance returns from UK charities. 

We hosted a Safeguarding for development event in August to provide members with the latest insights on key areas of safeguarding, including the employment cycle, reporting and accountability. Members will also had the chance to get peer support, and to feed back on the working groups’ progress. You can read about six priorities for transformative action that came out of the event.

DFID will host an international summit to tackle sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment in the aid sector on 18 October. We will be representing our wider membership at the event on 18 October. We would now like your input to refine a draft set of 12 commitments, which demonstrate that we as sector are serious about improving the quality and consistency of our safeguarding practice. Provide your feedback here before 28 September.

Sector safeguarding working groups 

A series of working groups have been set up to drive forward better practice across four thematic areas. The groups collaborate on a set of new ideas to improve safeguarding, with the aim of putting in place a series of pilot projects. 

The groups are working on the following thematic areas:

  • Accountability to people we work with
  • Organisational culture
  • The employment cycle
  • Reports and complaints mechanisms

The groups are made up of Bond members, DFID and the Charity Commission, and each is supported by a panel of academic and specialist experts.

Find out more about their progress and next steps. You can also join the safeguarding space in our members' area.

Guidance and resources

We’ve gathered background information, guidance and resources, training opportunities and information on regulators’ requirements to support members in driving up safeguarding standards across their organisations.