Charity to set new standards for aid workers

Aid workers

Sector has to lead by example to encourage public confidence  

13th February 2018 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Save The Children is to set new standards for professional conduct within the aid sector following controversy over Oxfam’s handling of the Haiti sex scandal.

Its chief executive Kevin Watkins said the sector had a “moral responsibility to protect the vulnerable children and adults we come into contact with.”

He added: “We also have a responsibility to the UK public and to the government to ensure that we meet the highest standards, not just in financial reporting, but in the behaviour we expect of our staff. These are tests of leadership – and I am wholly committed to putting Save the Children at the forefront of efforts to tackle the current crisis.”

Save the Children’s initiatives to address the current crisis include establishing a global centre of for child safeguarding in emergencies; and the creation of rapidly deployable response teams with expertise of sexual exploitation.  

It envisages the centre as a joint exercise bringing together the best research institutes, NGOs and the UK government’s Department for International Development. 

It is also recommending the creation of humanitarian passports where any staff members reprimanded or dismissed for sexual harassment, bullying and a failure of protection are identified and cannot disappear back into the system.

The charity said it was already working with Interpol to strengthen the criminal records checking system, globally.

Watkins said: “Organisations in the UK such as ours are staffed overwhelmingly by committed people trying to make a difference. We owe it to them to ensure that our organisation reflects the values and promotes the behaviours they bring to work every day. I am also acutely aware of our responsibilities to DFID and the UK public.”