Twenty-two aid charities sign safeguarding pledge

Charities including Oxfam, Christian Aid and Cafod agree to put more resources into safeguarding

Twenty-two UK aid charities have pledged to increase the amount of resources they spend on safeguarding in the wake of the Oxfam scandal.

In a joint statement, the organisations said they would review their referencing systems so that "people found to have abused their power or behaved inappropriately are not re-employed in the sector".

The charities, which include Oxfam GB, Christian Aid and Cafod, have also agreed to work with government and other authorities to ensure there are better background checks on staff and to prevent anyone caught committing abuse from doing so again.

"We are also asking people to come forward to report unacceptable behaviour," the statement says.

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"We hope these measures send a clear message to those who experience or witness any form of abuse. It is really important that they know we will listen and we will take action."

The statement describes abuse committed by personnel at aid charities as "double betrayal" of beneficiaries and donors.

It adds: "Although this is only the action of a small minority of people, it is nonetheless an issue that we will not allow to go unaddressed.

"Safeguarding is something that, as a sector, we have long taken very seriously and all our organisations have systems in place to prevent all forms of abuse and misconduct. However, we can never be complacent. We must do even more to protect the very people we were set up to help."

Bond, which led on the media response to the letter, did not respond to questions from Third Sector about how the 22 organisations were chosen or how much extra funding they would devote to safeguarding.

The signatories are

ActionAid UK
BBC Media Action
Bond
Cafod
Care International UK
Christian Aid
Concern Worldwide UK
Global Citizen
Islamic Relief UK
Mercy Corps Europe
Muslim Aid
Oxfam GB
Plan International UK
Practical Action
Save the Children UK
Start Network
Scotland’s International Development Alliance
Tearfund
Unicef UK
VSO
WaterAid
World Vision UK.

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