We are deeply saddened by the scale of abuse which has affected both communities and staff across the aid sector.
Ongoing action is being taken to safeguard better the people we support and staff from abuse, exploitation and sexual harassment of any kind. We take the issues of safeguarding extremely seriously and have worked to provide a safe and trusted environment for all those connected to us, for a number of years.
We recognise that changing culture and shifting the balance of power is key to address the entrenched gender, race and other inequalities that drive these behaviours. We are not complacent, nor will we tolerate any abuse of power in the work we do to expose and seek to eradicate the scandal of poverty around the world.
For effective change, the voice and needs of the survivor should be at the heart of any response. We recognise the importance of listening to survivors and enabling them to take ownership of the solutions we want to see. We are working to tackle the issue of underreporting and improve reporting mechanisms, without losing sight of prevention being key.
Christian Aid is working in collaboration with members of Bond (UK network for organisations working in international development), the British Overseas Aid Group (BOAG) and the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) to prevent sexual exploitation across the international development sector. As part of our commitment to safeguarding transparency, we have been assessed by independent bodies who confirmed our practices conform to a high standard.
What we are doing
Christian Aid believes in having the right organisational culture, understood by every employee, trustee and volunteer throughout the organisation and in every country we work; all understanding, sharing and adhering to a code of conduct.
We have appointed a dedicated Safeguarding Manager and Safeguarding Trustee, and involved wider groups of staff, globally, to improve awareness, run training programmes, act as safeguarding focal points and review reporting processes. All safeguarding incidents are fully investigated, reviewed by our trustees and reported to the Charity Commission.
We seek assurances from our partners which includes working with them to ensure they know what behaviour they can expect from Christian Aid and that they and the people we support have access to appropriate means for raising feedback, concerns and complaints. Partners who cannot provide such assurance will no longer receive funds from us.
We are committed to learning from the past and moving forward so that we can better protect staff and the vulnerable people we serve around the world.