Bond statement in response to reports of sexual exploitation in DRC during Ebola crisis

Stephanie Draper, CEO of Bond, the UK network for organisations working in international development said:

“Today’s reports of sexual exploitation and abuse in the DRC during the Ebola outbreak are incredibly saddening and serve as a critical reminder that reporting mechanisms alone are insufficient to prevent or tackle abuse.”

“The people we are there to support must be at the heart of any humanitarian response. UK NGOs have worked hard to improve safeguarding policies and practices since 2018. To get real change across the whole aid sector, we need strong leadership to shift organisational cultures and tackle power imbalances head-on. This needs to be fully resourced and funded.”

“There needs to be more diversity across organisations, including women in positions of power. During humanitarian crises reporting mechanisms also need to be rapidly developed in partnership with women and local communities.”

“Finally, perpetrators must be kept out of our sector. The misconduct disclosure scheme improves referencing and helps ensure those found to have abused will not be able to move freely between organisations. But more is needed: disclosure and disbarring checks should be extended to frontline aid workers, and we need better checks available internationally.”


  1. Bond has been working with NGOs and DFID to develop a number of tools to help NGOs prevent sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment across the international development sector. More information about the progress that has been made by the sector on work can be found here:
  2. Bond is the UK network for organisations working in international development. Bond unites and supports a diverse network of over 400 civil society organisations from across the UK, and allies to help eradicate global poverty, inequality and injustice.
  3. For further information please contact Maryam Mohsin on 07555 336029 or [email protected]