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Charities pledge better behaviour

The Charity Commission, the Department for International Development, and various NGOs have pledged themselves to improve safeguards. The statement says in part that the signatories “commit to always putting beneficiaries first, to concrete steps to improve the effectiveness of safeguards, to meet our duties and responsibilities and to lead a system-wide process of improving standards and restoring trust.” It states:

  • We will demonstrate accountability to beneficiaries and survivors, including staff and volunteers, prioritising those who have suffered and survived exploitation, abuse and violence, and design systems of accountability and transparency that have beneficiaries at their centre.
  • We will demonstrate a step change in shifting organisational culture to tackle power imbalances and gender inequality; policies alone are not enough to prevent abuse. The responsibility lies with Board and management, not survivors to tackle all forms of sexism and discrimination and hold individuals to account.
  • We will ensure that safeguards are integrated throughout the employment cycle so that we ensure strong checks are in place at the start of employment and regular training and performance management – reinforced by strong codes of conduct and standards – throughout the career.
  • We will ensure full accountability through rigorous reporting and complaints mechanisms, for any misconduct that occurs under the banner of our organisations, including by sub-contractors and partners. We will pursue all reported misconduct to the fullest extent, for our own staff, in our own organisational procedures and refer to regulatory authorities in the UK and overseas. We will work together to share relevant information on staff and volunteers who have committed acts which breach standards of conduct.
  • We will ensure that concerns are heard and acted on, through a whistleblowing process which protects anonymity and safety and that will ensure that ways of reporting are actively promoted.

Photo by Nik MacMillan on Unsplash