6 December 2018

Today, the Government published its response to the International Development Committee’ report on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in the Aid Sector.

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

“We welcome the government’s response to the IDC inquiry, which has proven critical to helping the sector address sexual exploitation and abuse. We also thank the Secretary of State for the leadership she has shown on this agenda.

During the Safeguarding Summit in October, Bond and its members launched its sector-wide commitments, outlining the progress made and the actions needed to address inconsistencies in the sector’s safeguarding practices. I am pleased that these commitments are now part of the Bond charter and apply to all of our members. 

We agree with the Select Committee that safeguarding cannot be resolved with quick fixes. This is why we have committed to continuing to work with our members, DFID and the Charity Commission to explore and develop long-term, sustainable solutions that prevent the wrong kind of people working in our sector to ensure any incidents are dealt with promptly and robustly when they arise. Whistle-blowers and survivors must be at the heart of all of our actions. 

NGOs and donors need to invest in safeguarding to ensure staff and volunteers are kept safe and this means increased resourcing, particularly for smaller NGOs, as well as sustained collaboration across organisations, people we seek to serve, donors, governments, as well as better transparency. But we can only truly deliver zero tolerance of sexual exploitation and abuse with strong leadership and culture change in our organisations. 

The sector is committed to delivering this change and will not be complacent on this agenda. We are setting the bar higher than ever before and we are working together to ensure that every NGO across the UK sector reaches that high standard.”

ENDS

Notes to Editor

  1. The Governments reply to the International Development Committee’ report on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in the Aid Sector can be found here: https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmintdev/1764/1764.pdf 
  2. Bond launched “Our commitment to change in safeguarding: Our approach to tackling sexual exploitation, abuse and sexual harassment in the aid sector” during the Safeguarding Summit in October which was incorporated into the Bond Charter in November
  3. 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: http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/international-development-committee/sexual-exploitation-and-abuse-in-the-aid-sector/oral/82787.pdf 
  4. 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.
  5. For further information please contact Maryam Mohsin, [email protected] or 07555 336029