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Just days after PM Theresa May hit out at the “horrific” behaviour of staff at Oxfam and said that charities must reveal their safeguarding and protection arrangements to the Government, the charities’ watchdog today revealed they have received 80 cases where workers have harmed people, or put them at risk since the Oxfam scandal broke.
Last month, International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt had written to 179 aid organisations and charities to demand assurances they are taking steps to prevent abuse of vulnerable people.
Of those, 26 charities have made serious incident reports to the Charity Commission, totalling 80 incidents “broadly related” to safeguarding issues and covering “a wide spectrum” of alleged incidents.
The international development secretary, Penny Mordaunt, asked delegates at a safeguarding summit today to come up with measures to ensure whistleblowers and survivors of exploitation or abuse are given counselling and support.
Speaking at the summit, Mordaunt said: “Now is the time for action. The aid sector needs to ensure it is meeting its duty of care to the world’s most vulnerable people. It needs to be honest about past mistakes. It must do all it can to win back the trust of the British public.
“This summit is a crucial moment to learn lessons from the past and drive up standards across the sector. Today, we begin taking the practical steps to ensure the safety of the people we help is always our first priority and that the British aid sector sets the standard for the rest of the world to follow.”
Scandal hit one of Britain’s best-known charities after media reported how it had covered up the use of prostitutes by senior staff after the 2010 Haiti earthquake.