Keeping Children Safe statement on sexual misconduct by Oxfam staff



Keeping Children Safe statement on sexual misconduct by Oxfam staff

The recent allegations of sexual misconduct by Oxfam staff underline once again the responsibility that all organisations have to safeguard the people they serve and in particular children. This means doing all they can to ensure that their staff, operations, and programmes do not expose children to the risk of abuse. 

Any concerns the organisation has about children’s safety should be reported to the appropriate authorities, so that perpetrators can be brought to justice and children given follow up care and support. All actions should be taken in the best interests of the children concerned.

This is particularly critical for organisations that work in humanitarian crises and conflict and post-conflict situations where many children are likely to be in situations of extreme physical and emotional vulnerability. The extreme imbalance of power between humanitarian aid workers, on the one hand, and the people who they have been sent to protect, on the other, makes it essential that robust systems are in place to ensure that the work of these organisations is beyond reproach.

Keeping Children Safe urges all organisations to adopt International Child Safeguarding Standards. Organisations that implement the standards are safer for children because they adopt a set of practical tools for creating a culture of accountability. When the standards are fully implemented, every individual within the organisation is given clear instructions on their obligation to act to prevent and report abuse and the sanctions they will face if they fail to comply.

Keeping Children Safe continues to work with all types and sizes of organisations across the world to implement robust safeguarding measures. If you are concerned that your organisation may be putting children at risk, contact Keeping Children Safe for support and advice including free tools and child safeguarding resources.