MPs say sexual exploitation in global development work “still rife”
A report by the International Development Committee of MPs has said that sexual exploitation and abuse are still “rife” in global development work, and some aid organisations “will require root and branch transformation” to address exploitation.
The MPs have made a series of recommendations for reform, including enhanced background checks for all aid workers. The report notes that using existing resources and mechanisms to undertake enhanced DBS checks on aid workers who are UK nationals appears to be a sensible first step to preventing known perpetrators from being employed to these roles.”
The report also recommends that charities should be more transparent with government about the use of controversial settlements with departing staff, over fears that aid organisations sometimes try and block individuals from raising concerns about abuse. The MPs noted that non-disclosure agreements, which prevent former employees from discussing their work after they have left an organisation, “are sometimes used in termination settlements, but it is difficult to assess how common they are…We are concerned that the use of non-disclosure agreements in the aid sector could be used to cover-up misconduct and will exacerbate power imbalances’.
Bond, the umbrella body for aid organisations, said it welcomed and supported the committee’s findings.