Today, The Guardian reported that the International Development Committee evidence session on fighting sexual misconduct had found that little has changed and that evidence given on tackling sexual abuse was condemned as “completely unsatisfactory”.
Bond believes this to be an inaccurate reflection of the session, during which Frances Longley, CEO of Amref and a representative of Bond's safeguarding working group, gave an account of the progress made by the NGO sector, including an explanation as to why a whistleblowing audit had not been prioritised over safeguarding reporting practices more broadly.
Responding to the article, Frances Longley said:
"Whistleblowing is an essential part of safeguarding but only works as a last resort if reporting by the survivor or victim has failed – people first and foremost need to feel safe enough to pick up a phone or speak to a member of staff to report abuse. NGOs have focused on reporting over this past year, and not just whistleblowing alone, as this is what can help victims and survivors in the immediacy. It’s a shame that months of hard work from the NGO sector to step up its game on safeguarding has been overlooked for something that only addresses one element of good safeguarding reporting practice."
1. A full account of the NGO sector-wide progress on safeguarding can be found here: Safeguarding inquiry: progress, challenges and opportunities
2. Bond is the UK network for organisations working in international development, including Save the Children, Oxfam and Christian Aid. Bond unites and supports a diverse network of over 400 civil society organisations and allies to help eradicate global poverty, inequality and injustice.
3. For further information or interviews with Frances Longley, please contact Maryam Mohsin on 07555 336029 or [email protected]