Eighty cases of alleged sex abuse uncovered after Oxfam scandal

Penny Mordaunt will tell senior officials from scores of charities that they face a turning point

Penny Mordaunt said Monday at a summit in London that some of the UK's biggest charities are now embroiled in the sex abuse and harassment scandal engulfing the sector, but their names will not be automatically revealed.

Those in attendance are set to sign a joint statement setting out key principles they will adhere to and will agree on a set of practical actions to improve standards and restore trust in the sector following the allegations that have come to light since early February.

She explained that she wrote to every United Kingdom charity that receives United Kingdom aid, asking that they provide her with a statement of assurance on safeguarding, organisational culture, clarity and transparency, and their handling of allegations and incidents.

This follows a challenge to UK-based global development charities by the worldwide Development Secretary, Penny Mordaunt, to come up with ideas and initiatives to ensure we protect the people we are here to serve.

The summit agreed the vital role of establishing clear guidelines for referring incidents, allegations and offenders to relevant authorities - including the National Crime Agency.

"We will find you, we will bring you to justice".

Representatives from British aid agencies were ordered to come together to find ways to tackle sexual exploitation and abuse exposed in the wake of the Oxfam scandal.

The summit brings together United Kingdom worldwide development charities, regulatory bodies and independent experts, with the aim of forging a commitment to drive up safeguarding standards and take steps to tackle sexual exploitation and abuse within charities and by staff overseas.

It also identified the importance of developing and implementing mandatory standards which would make organisations accountable to beneficiaries - ensuring those receiving aid are able to identify and raise concerns.

~ The Charity Commission has announced a suite of measures to help ensure charities learn the wider lessons from recent safeguarding revelations involving Oxfam and other charities, and to strengthen public trust and confidence in charities.

"From today, DFID will put in place new, enhanced and specific safeguarding standards for the organisations we work with. We will also start to apply these new standards to organisations we have ongoing work with".

The Charity Commission said it had seen a doubling of safeguarding incident reporting, beyond the charities written to by Ms Mordaunt, over the past three weeks.

All have replied, but DFID is seeking further clarification from 37 of them, Mordaunt said.

Some of the 80 reports related to procedural lapses that led to protection risks rather than to actual incidents.

"Organisations should not bid for new funding unless they are prepared to meet these tough new standards", Mordaunt said. The aid sector needs to ensure it is meeting its duty of care to the world's most vulnerable people.

"The head of the department noted that the DFID had completed a review of historic internal allegations".



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