DEC welcomes better action on safeguarding
The DEC coordinates UK fundraising appeals to respond to the world’s worst humanitarian disasters. We also improve standards in delivering humanitarian aid, including safeguarding. To improve the quality and effectiveness of the assistance that they provide, DEC members spearheaded the adoption of the Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability , which aims to protect communities and people affected by crisis. The adoption of this standard and external verification that it is being met are requirements for DEC membership. The DEC will continue to work closely with members to strengthen safeguarding and therefore welcome today’s statement jointly endorsed by leading aid agencies, including DEC members.
As organisations whose core aim is to help the most vulnerable people in the world, we must always confront abusive behaviour and the misuse of power. When it comes from individuals within our sector it is a double betrayal, not just of the people we exist to serve, but of the British people in whose name we operate. Although this is only the action of a small minority of people, it is nonetheless an issue that we will not allow to go unaddressed.
There can be no tolerance for the abuse of power, privilege or trust within our organisations or in our work. We have an absolute duty to our staff, our supporters and, above all, the people we seek to help to ensure we do everything in our power to prevent, detect and eradicate unacceptable behaviour.
As we take every necessary step to right these deep wrongs, we also have a clear responsibility to ensure that the communities we seek to help are not the ones punished for our mistakes. The widespread distress and disappointment that we’ve heard in the past two weeks demonstrates that people feel profound compassion for those who need Britain’s help. We must honour that instinct, and the rights and needs of the communities we work with, by continuing to deliver vital aid but also changing fundamentally.
Safeguarding is something that, as a sector, we have long taken very seriously and all our organisations have systems in place to prevent all forms of abuse and misconduct. However, we can never be complacent. We must do even more to protect the very people we were set up to help.
First and foremost we must continue to create an environment where people feel safe, and confident to report any behaviour that makes them feel uncomfortable or which threatens them or their…