Save the Children International foresees rising income despite sex scandals

The charity's latest accounts say rising income from 2017 have led it to project increases for 2018

Save the Children International annual report
Save the Children International annual report

Save the Children International expects income to rise in 2018 despite the recent sexual misconduct controversies, according to its latest accounts.

In its accounts for the year to 31 December 2017, income at Save increased from $1.2bn (£900m) to $1.3bn (£990m) in 2017, the accounts show, with expenditure also rising to about the same amount.

The accounts say that unrestricted income was the fastest-growing source of funding, which was "in part due to our fast-growing markets, particularly in Europe, which have seen their investment in face-to-face fundraising, digital marketing and lead generation result in more supporters".

This means the charity has "increased income projections for 2018", the accounts say.

In July, Save the Children UK said it expected its income to fall by £67m after it temporarily withdrew from government funding bids in the wake of claims of sexual misconduct.

Earlier this month, the UK charity released the findings of an independent review into its handling of sexual misconduct in the workplace, which found that 28 per cent of staff had experienced either discrimination of harassment.

An independent, external audit for all Save the Children International’s countries and regions was completed in 2017, the accounts say, and has resulted in "significant steps" being taken to strengthen child safeguarding procedures and management across the charity.

The accounts reiterate figures showing the number of people sacked from the charity for sexual harassment or child safeguarding incidents in 2017.

The figures, which were originally released in the spring, show that the charity received 31 allegations of sexual harassment in the year covered by the accounts and referred 10 cases to the appropriate authorities.

Sixteen staff members were dismissed in connection with reports of sexual misconduct, the accounts say.

The charity had 210 child safeguarding incidents in 2017, 142 of which related to Save the Children staff or employees of partner organisations. Forty-eight of these cases were proven.

This led to the dismissal of 34 people and 14 cases where remedial action was taken, such as formal warnings or training, the accounts say.

Eleven cases involving the charity’s staff were reported to the local authorities, according to the accounts.

Thirty-seven cases involving partner organisations were proven, the charity’s accounts say, which resulted in 27 dismissals and 10 remedial actions.

The charity said in a statement that the increase in the number of reports was down to efforts to tackle under-reporting of such incidents, which ranged from physical, sexual or emotional abuse to road accidents.

The statement said the charity had made significant investment in the past two years in monitoring, educating staff and partners on the ground in how to spot and report abuses, increasing the number of staff dedicated to child safeguarding and strengthening recruitment procedures.

Chet Kuchinad, chief people officer of Save the Children International, said: "We have a culture of zero tolerance for misconduct, sexual abuse and harassment of any kind.

"Our vital mission to help children survive, learn and thrive cannot be undermined by behaviour or people who fall short of this, and anyone found to be violating our policy will be held to account."

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