More than 40 Save the Children International staff sacked over abuse, bullying or safeguarding concerns

The charity's accounts also show its income rose to nearly £1bn last year

Forty-one members of staff at Save the Children International lost their jobs over abuse, bullying and other safeguarding concerns last year.

Another six employees were suspended from their jobs after the charity investigated their behaviour.

The numbers are included in the charity’s annual accounts for the year to the end of December 2021, which were published by Companies House last week. 

The accounts say the number of reports made about potential safeguarding breaches had risen by 63 per cent from 2020. 

The charity, which employs more than 16,000 people, said this was “a positive sign that reporters place trust in our systems by sharing their concerns”, and that it allowed Save the Children International to investigate allegations in detail and improve its safeguarding systems.

The charity upheld 42 cases of staff mistreating children in 2021, including two relating to sexual abuse and seven relating to physical abuse, the accounts show. 

As a result, nine members of staff were dismissed or did not have their employment contracts renewed, while another two were suspended.

The charity also upheld 43 allegations of adults being abused, resulting in 16 staff being dismissed or losing their contracts and two employees being suspended.

Of 68 upheld allegations that Save the Children International staff had mistreated their colleagues, 16 members of staff were dismissed, one person did not have their contract renewed, and two more were suspended.

The charity said it was committed to addressing safeguarding risks through ongoing work including steps to triage minor grievances from serious complaints, intervening to ensure issues do not re-occur, and effective care for survivors of abuse. 

The accounts, which are published in US dollars, also show that income at Save the Children International rose by $170m last year – the equivalent of £141m.

The increase was driven by a large rise in donations transferred from other Save the Children organisations operating elsewhere in the world, although the value of grants from institutional donors also grew significantly.

The charity’s total income in the year to the end of December 2021 was £1.1bn, up from £962.8m in 2020.

Its total spending also rose sharply, from £946m in 2020 to £1.1bn in 2021.

The accounts show the charity set up a new office in Poland earlier this year to respond to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.

The charity reported a surplus of £34.9m last year, compared with £17.7m in 2020.

Save the Children International received almost £1.3bn from other national Save the Children organisations in 2021, up from £1.1bn the year before. 

This included £471.4m transferred from Save the Children United States, compared with £392.8m in 2020. Save the Children UK transferred £132.7m, less than in 2020, when it donated £156.7m.

Major institutional donors included USAID, which made grants worth £214.6m, up from £168.7m, and the Global Fund to Fight Aids, TB and Malaria, which donated £57.2m, compared with £41.8m last year.

Total salaries at Save the Children International grew from £226.5m to £245.4m, or about 8 per cent, while staff numbers were up 3 per cent, from 15,913 to 16,350.

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