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Sexual exploitation and abuse in the aid sector: next steps

Inquiry

Report published

This Committee agreed early in this Parliament to draw up a comprehensive re-examination of progress taken to tackle sexual exploitation and abuse in the aid sector. Our focus is the aid recipients who become victims and survivors of abuse at the hands of individuals working in the sector. This inquiry will consider the support needed by victims and survivors to secure justice and rebuild their lives when they have experienced abuse, what can be done to change the culture in the aid sector to prevent it from occurring in the first place, and how the new Foreign Affairs and Development Office (FCDO) should take this work forward.

In its report, Progress on tackling the sexual exploitation and abuse of aid beneficiaries, the International Development Committee (IDC) finds that sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) is still happening in the sector.

This is supported by a unique survey by the IDC where 73% of respondents believe there remains a problem with SEA being perpetrated by aid workers. This is likely to have been made significantly worse with the coronavirus pandemic, with reductions in aid and food supplies making female beneficiaries more vulnerable to exploitation. Further, perpetrators are continuing to move from organisation to organisation with impunity.

Government response published

During the inquiry, the IDC paid tribute to the former Department for International Development (DFID) and its work in tackling sexual exploitation and abuse. It therefore recommended that the new department, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, should adopt many of DFID’s practices. The Government accepted these recommendations, ranging from enforcing the enhanced safeguarding due diligence procedures, include a specific section on safeguarding in annual reports, and for DFID’s approach on safeguarding investigations to be built on.

However, the IDC is disappointed that some recommendations are not being carried forwards by the Government. There is still to be no audit of whistleblowing practices, the FCDO will not require partners to publish case data and the IDC received no commitment from the Government to use the Strategic Vision for Gender Equality to inform its prioritisation of future work.

Terms of Reference: Sexual exploitation and abuse in the aid sector: next steps inquiry launched

Upcoming events

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No upcoming events scheduled

Past events

Thursday 19 November 2020
10:00am Public
Sexual exploitation and abuse in the aid sector: next steps - Oral evidence 19 November 2020
10:00am
  • The Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict and Minister of State for South Asia and the Commonwealth at Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office)
  • Katy Ransome (Head of the Gender Equality Unit at Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office)
  • James Kariuki (Multilateral Policy Director at Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office)
Virtual meeting
Tuesday 17 November 2020
2:30pm Public
Sexual exploitation and abuse in the aid sector: next steps - Oral evidence 17 November 2020
2:30pm
  • Peter Taylor (Head, Safeguarding Unit at Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office)
  • Rt Hon James Cleverly MP (Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa at Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office)
Virtual Meeting
Tuesday 3 November 2020
2:30pm Public
Sexual exploitation and abuse in the aid sector: next steps - Oral evidence 3 November 2020
2:30pm
  • Dr Tamsyn Barton (Chief Commissioner at Independent Commission for Aid Impact)
  • Dr Jasmine-Kim Westendorf (Senior Lecturer in International Relations at La Trobe University)
  • Dr Miranda Brown
  • Major Charmaine Geldenhuys
3:30pm
  • The Baroness Helic
  • Dr Tamsyn Barton (Chief Commissioner at Independent Commission for Aid Impact)
  • Dr Paul Kirby (Assistant Professorial Research Fellow, Centre for Women, Peace and Security at London School of Economics and Political Science)
Virtual meeting
Tuesday 20 October 2020
2:30pm Public
Sexual exploitation and abuse in the aid sector: next steps - Oral evidence 20 October 2020
2:30pm
  • Diane Goodman (Senior Coordinator, Sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment at UNHCR)
  • Hannan Sulieman (Deputy Executive Director, Management at UNICEF)
3:30pm
  • Stephanie Draper (Chief Executive at Bond)
  • Franziska Schwarz (Senior Adviser, Sector Safeguarding at Bond)
  • Helen Stephenson CBE (Chief Executive Officer at The Charity Commission for England and Wales)
  • Harvey Grenville (Senior Technical Adviser at The Charity Commission for England and Wales)
Virtual meeting

Contact us

  • Email: indcom@parliament.uk
  • Phone: 020 7219 1223/3285 (general enquiries) | 020 7219 4984 (media enquiries)
  • Address: International Development Committee, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA