CAFOD statement on safeguarding vulnerable communities

Source: CAFOD

"Recent news reports have raised disturbing questions about reported abuses by aid workers, causing significant worry and distrust in the UK public.

CAFOD has a zero-tolerance approach to misconduct breaching our Code of Behaviour, including fraud, abuse, intimidation and other acts. We have robust safeguarding and whistle-blowing policies and practices in place to ensure that vulnerable people are protected. Nonetheless, we are committed to regularly reviewing our procedures, and therefore are joining an initiative with other UK-based overseas development agencies and the Charity Commission to strengthen cross-sector information sharing and protection of vulnerable people.

The Times newspaper on 10 February 2018 wrote that a current CAFOD employee was named as an Oxfam staff member who had been working in Haiti in 2011, amidst accusations of sexual misconduct. We were not aware of allegations made against this employee and received two references, as standard practice, at the time of recruitment. Following concerns raised in this article, the staff member has been put on leave while we examine the issues raised and follow our Code of Behaviour protocol to determine next steps.

It is disheartening that the actions of a few unscrupulous aid workers may undermine trust in the life-saving work done by overseas development and humanitarian agencies, including CAFOD, working alongside some of the poorest communities and helping them live life to the fullest. Our commitment to them is steadfast, and we will continue to vigilantly prevent abuse by aid workers from happening, and ensure swift action when concerns are raised."

Chris Bain

CAFOD Director

Tags: Oxfam, Safeguarding, CAFOD, Chris Bain

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