Following the recent International Safeguarding Summit in London, eight leading development and humanitarian organisations have published a statement setting out the concrete actions they are taking to embed the commitments made by donors and international NGOs in London across all their work.
“At ActionAidUK, CAFOD, Care International UK, Christian Aid, the International Rescue Committee UK, Oxfam GB, Plan International UK and Save the Children UK, we promise to: listen to survivors, communities and staff; prevent abuse from taking place; respond rapidly to all concerns; and learn from past mistakes and keep getting better.
“All our organisations are already embedding these practices and have made significant progress on them since the Safeguarding Summit in March – particularly in: increasing resource for safeguarding; strengthening our systems, reporting, and training; boosting dedicated support for survivors; improving workplace culture; and working collaboratively to strengthen referencing and information sharing.
“These promises build on the work of Bond, who have convened the international development and humanitarian sectors behind a set of commitments under the four strategic shifts pursued by the Department for International Development today: survivor support and enhanced accountability; cultural change; minimum standards; and organisational capacity and capability. These commitments clearly articulate how the sector must change and identify critical principles – rooted in a survivor-centric approach – that all our organisations have signed up to and wholeheartedly endorse. Bond have also driven global change across these four areas and we warmly welcome the global initiatives announced at today’s summit.
“This statement is our contribution to these commitments. We will embed them across our work, and deliver progress on them by holding ourselves accountable – and seeking external scrutiny – to the actions promised.
“The vulnerability of the people we serve places a special duty of protection on us. Honouring the trust and expectation of the communities we serve is the single biggest priority for each of us. We will not rest until we can ensure that no one in our care is ever let down.
“To deliver truly transformational change, it is incumbent on all of us to recognise the power imbalances that sit at the heart of global poverty and injustice. To overcome these, we must confront the behaviours within our organisations that entrench them, and we must put the voices of women, children, marginalised social and economic groups, differently abled, LGBTQ and the aged first. Following today’s summit, we will continue to not just reform our systems but also to work in partnership with donors and global institutions, other development and humanitarian organisations, and – most importantly – affected communities, survivors and staff to drive cultural change.
“The Department for International Development has shown impressive leadership on this agenda and we are committed to working alongside them to deliver a global step-change.”