We are working with members, government and regulatory bodies to ensure organisations are equipped to prevent sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment 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. 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. The joint pledge to improving safeguarding was signed by 32 organisations and government

Since then, Bond’s members have worked to improve their safeguarding policies and practices, building on the best examples from the aid and UK domestic sector. Our commitment to change in safeguarding pulls this work together and demonstrates how the NGO sector will drive forwards consistency and leadership on safeguarding so we all reach the same standards and work together to protect people from sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment. 

See our 12 commitments and 34 related actions to drive change in safeguarding.

Sector working groups 

A series of working groups have been set up to drive forward better practice across four 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. Over the last seven months, the working groups have collaborated on a series of projects and developed guidance  to improve safeguarding practices across these themes.

You can find out more about these projects here. Draft outputs are now available in the safeguarding space in our members’ area, including information on next steps and further consultation. 

Actions to drive up standards

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 hosted an international summit to tackle sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment in the aid sector on 18 October. We represented our wider membership at the event and presented the NGO sector’s commitments to change in safeguarding. 

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.

We currently run two training courses: Safeguarding essentials and Developing good safeguarding practice for a thorough grounding in safeguarding for NGOs.