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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

Work news

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Government commits to withdraw funding from aid giants with poor safeguarding practices
International Development Committee publishes Government response
6 April 2021
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Aid beneficiaries continue to be abused by aid workers
International Development Committee publishes Report on Progress on tackling the sexual exploitation and abuse of aid beneficiaries
14 January 2021
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Prime Minister's Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict examined
International Development Committee takes evidence on Thursday 19 November at 10.00am
16 November 2020
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Minister of State examined on Sexual exploitation and abuse in the aid sector
International Development Committee takes evidence from Minister on Tuesday 17 November at 2.30pm
12 November 2020
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Strategy for dealing with sexual exploitation and abuse in developing countries examined
International Development Committee takes evidence on Tuesday 3 November at 2.30pm
29 October 2020
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Progress on tackling sexual exploitation and abuse in the aid sector examined
International Development Committee takes evidence on Tuesday 20 October from 2.30pm
16 October 2020
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Allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse in the DRC by aid workers examined
International Development Committee takes evidence on Tuesday 13 October at 2.30pm
8 October 2020
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legal practitioners and advocates for change on sexual exploitation examined
International Development Committee takes evidence on Tuesday 6 October at 2.30pm
1 October 2020
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Sexual exploitation and abuse in the aid sector: next steps examined
International Development Committee takes evidence on Tuesday 22 September at 2.30pm
17 September 2020
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Committee seeks views on sexual exploitation and abuse in the aid sector
Evidence-gathering survey for the inquiry into Sexual exploitation and abuse in the aid sector: next steps launched
13 August 2020
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Sexual exploitation and abuse in the aid sector: next steps examined
International Development Committee takes evidence on Thursday 16 July at 2.30pm
13 July 2020
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Sexual exploitation and abuse in the aid sector: next steps inquiry launched
International Development Committee launch new inquiry
8 July 2020
Total results 12 (page 1 of 1)

Contact us

  • Email: indcom@parliament.uk
  • Phone: indcom@parliament.uk, 020 7219 1223/1226 (Inquiry, evidence and General enquiries) / doylem@parliament.uk, 07842 601500 (Media enquiries only)
  • Address: International Development Committee, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA