Charities make new safeguarding commitments
Following a recent summit of international development charities, attended by Penny Mordaunt, the international development secretary, Bond, the umbrella body, has published a set of 12 commitments that the sector will now follow. This is the culmination of seven months of work with its members to improve safeguarding policies and practices. According to Judith Brodie, interim chief executive it “marks a turning point”.
The 12 commitments seek to protect the dignity and safety of the people with whom the charities serve; ensures that victims and survivors are central to the “safeguarding response’; being transparent and sharing progress; being rigorous and inclusive in reporting and complaints processes; driving cultural change and addressing structural inequalities from the top; collaborating to improve employment practice; applying internationally-recognised standards and practices; collaborating with other sectors to advance global safeguarding practice; ensuring policies and practices address vulnerable groups’ needs; improving and sharing expertise of staff, volunteers and trustees; creating equal relationships between organisations delivering and receiving aid; and testing and scaling innovative technology solutions.
Bond said that the commitments would lead to behaviour change to prevent abusers joining the aid sector, make sure whistle-blowers are listened to, help charities act on complaints and build better cultures. This was supported by eight of the UK’s leading charities – ActionAidUK, Cafod, Care International UK, Christian Aid, the International Rescue Committee UK, Oxfam GB, Plan International UK and Save the Children UK – which all promised to do better, build on the work done by Bond, and hold themselves accountable.