Bond statement in response to International Development Committee report: Sexual exploitation and abuse in the aid sector

Judith Brodie Interim Chief Executive of Bond, the UK’s network of International Development NGOs, said:

“The IDC inquiry has been an important step towards addressing sexual exploitation and abuse across the aid and development sector and we welcome its report.

The aid and development sector is working here and around the world to end sexual exploitation and abuse, in countries, institutions and within our own organisations. There is more to be done and we must ensure that where failures of culture and policies within our own organisations exist, this will not be tolerated.

Over recent months the sector has seen significant steps and collective efforts from NGOs, donors and regulators aimed at stamping out sexual exploitation from the sector. The increased public attention on safeguarding has resulted in more people coming forwards to report allegations and incidents. This is a sign that the culture around safeguarding is shifting towards better reporting, screening and accountability, where beneficiaries and staff have the knowledge and confidence to raise concerns in a safe and supportive environment. We can only deliver zero tolerance of sexual exploitation and abuse with strong leadership and culture change in our organisations and as a sector we are committed to delivering this change.

We as NGOs know that “business as usual” is not going to cut it and change is has started and is underway. We need to see increased resourcing in safeguarding, particularly for smaller NGOs, more collaboration across organisations, donors and governments, better transparency, unwavering leadership and measures to ensure whistle-blowers and survivors are at the heart of any solutions. This sadly cannot undo previous shortcomings but it will result in a safer and more secure environment for both beneficiaries and staff.”

Notes to Editor
1. Caroline Nursey, Chair of the Board, Bond provided oral evidence to the International Development on Sexual exploitation and abuse in the aid sector on the 8th May 2018:
2. Bond is the UK network for organisations working in international development. Bond unites and supports a diverse network of over 450 civil society organisations and allies to help eradicate global poverty, inequality and injustice.
3. For further information please contact Maryam Mohsin, [email protected] or 07555 336029