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On 12th February we spoke with UCB Radio on the update and what impact this has for organisations working overseas and those that support them.

>> Listen here <<

The Department for International Development (DfID) updated Parliament last week on its efforts to prevent exploitation, abuse and sexual harassment in the aid sector. This comes ahead of the anniversary of the first story about misconduct by Oxfam workers in Haiti, which was published in the Times on February 9, 2018. 

Last week’s update, made by Penny Mordaunt MP, covered a number of key areas where (DfID) is working to improve safeguarding in the aid sector. These improvements include a project with Interpol to stop perpetrators of sexual abuse moving around the aid sector, and a partnership between DfID and the UN Victims’ Rights Advocate to develop a statement of victims’ rights.

Justin Humphreys, CEO at thirtyone:eight, said: "We welcome this further report from the Secretary of State for Development on the progress being made by DfID and partners towards improving safeguarding across the aid sector. We continue to support the department in relation to sharing knowledge and practice derived from the significant amount of work being undertaken globally by UK-based agencies with a Christian faith basis. There is much to learn and much to offer, but we are keen to start seeing some tangible results of the commitments being given."

In her statement to parliament Penny Mordaunt said that DfID is committed to creating a resource and support hub which will provide guidance, training and support on safeguarding to smaller charities which are those most likely to need it. There has been strong interest from potential suppliers and DfID expects to sign a multi-year contract by August.

Karen Eakins, Head of Consultancy at thirtyone:eight, said: “As a charity we are seeking to help raise the safeguarding standards of organisations. We welcome the introduction of the resource and support hub, and its aim to help increase the capacity for smaller organisations to achieve DfID’s strategic shift to ensure they are achieving minimum safeguarding standards. We have developed a self-audit tool to help equip such charities as they look to ensure they are facilitating safe practice.”

More information about the tool can be found here.

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