+ NZ public can be confident of our NGOs
Last week, the British Charity Commission published the findings of its 18-month investigation
into the NGOs handling of allegations of sexual exploitation and bullying
by senior Oxfam GB
staff working in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. Oxfam conducted an internal inquiry in 2011, which led to four staff being fired and three resigning.
Oxfam GB welcomed the report
and accepted all the recommendations.
"As Executive Director of Oxfam International, I underline Oxfam Great Britain’s apologies and reaffirm the organisation’s abhorrence for, and zero tolerance of, abusive behaviour, sexual or otherwise," said Winnie Byanyima, Oxfam International Executive Director.
Internationally, the sector has had an 'annus horribilis', with Amnesty International in the news earlier in the year. Amnesty International
had a “toxic” working environment, with widespread bullying, public humiliation, discrimination and other abuses of power, a report has found.
These reports from overseas first emerged last year, and spurred New Zealand’s aid NGOs to strengthen their own systems to keep people as safe as possible.
Each CID member guarantees zero tolerance of abuse, but can't guarantee zero incidence. That's why the sector has prioritised making sure robust policies are in place that encourages people to complain for example, if they see any wrongdoing, and to set up processes that reduce the risk of incidents occurring in the first place.
All organisations affiliated to CID are signed up to a Code of Conduct which requires them to develop a suite of policies and practises, including whistleblowing, complaints processes, and child protection policies, and to prevent opportunities for any abuse and harassment to occur.
Over the last year, CID has carried out a number of safeguarding workshops with its members to help organisations plan how to prevent incidents, as well as what to do if one occurred. Investigative companies like OSACO
, now based in New Zealand have since become an Associate Member of CID. OSACO specialises in investigating any complaints in developing countries.
The New Zealand international NGO sector continues to strengthen its systems and policies, and the public can be assured that our members have professional processes in place, and where there is evidence of wrongdoing, our NGOs will take firm action, including by reporting allegations to the relevant authorities where that is appropriate.