NCVO statement on sexual abuse in international development

Peter Kellner, chair of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), which represents charities, said:

International development charities take abuse issues very seriously and are constantly working to root out those who are looking to do wrong under the guise of helping some of the world’s most vulnerable. All the major charities have policies and procedures in place and dedicate significant effort to minimising the risk of abuse taking place. However, it is clear that more can and must be done, not only to revive the reputation of those charities in the news but also to maintain public confidence in the sector as a whole.

I welcome Oxfam's package of measures announced today. I hope they ensure that there can be no repeat of the disgusting behaviour that has been reported in the past few days. These reports should and, I believe, will prompt other organisations to ensure that they, too, enforce the very highest standards.

We will work alongside Bond, the umbrella body for international development charities, and the Charity Commission, to ensure that all charities operating overseas are meeting the standards of the best.

We will strive for a consensus, including with the Department for International Development, on tough measures that command the confidence of the public, many millions of whom lend their support to the vital international aid work carried out by charities. They will have been deeply upset by what they have read. They deserve better. We must make sure that bad behaviour, however rare, is never tolerated.

-ENDS-

For further information, please contact Aidan Warner, external relations manager at NCVO on 07980 934 277 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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