Report Finds NGO Staff Sex Abuse ‘Endemic’ Across Aid Sector

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Sexual abuse of the most vulnerable and poverty-stricken is “endemic” across the international aid sector, according to a new government report, which accused NGOs of “complacency verging on complicity” regarding the problem.

In a report published Tuesday, the Commons international development committee found that the delivery of aid to crisis-hit communities had been “subverted by sexual predators … to exploit some of the most vulnerable people in the world”.

Highlighting how the “globalised and often chaotic nature” of aid work makes it an “attractive sector for people who wanted to exploit others”, MPs called for the creation of a global register of aid workers to tackle the scandal of “predatory and potentially dangerous” individuals being able to evade consequences for their behaviour by moving from one charity to another.

Committee chairman Stephen Twigg said the report outlines “the collective failure” of the international aid sector to tackle rampant sex abuse by staff over a period of nearly 20 years, telling CNN that NGOs appeared to have prioritised “their reputation ahead of women, children and other victims of sexual exploitation and abuse”.

Branding the sector “deluded”, the Labour MP warned the United Nations (UN) and self-styled humanitarian organisations must not be allowed to “continue a ‘culture of denial’ when confronted with allegations of sexual exploitation”.

“The committee is concerned that previous attempts have amounted to limited action in order to quell media clamour,” he said. “No matter how insurmountable this looks, solutions must be found. This horror must be confronted.”

Asserting that “a macho form of masculinity dominates the humanitarian relief space”, MPs also warned a “boys’ club attitude” had contributed to the failure to tackle abuse, singling out Save the Children UK for particular criticism in this field. The NGO was the focus of metia scrutiny following the departure of its policy director, left-wing campaigner Brendan Cox, amidst sexual harassment allegations.

According to the Daily Mail, committee member Pauline Latham remarked that “deep cultural change is required across all aid organisations, starting with their – all too often male – senior leadership.

“Sexual abuse of aid beneficiaries and of women aid workers, which I believe is linked, must be stamped out.”

As Breitbart London reported earlier this month, MPs in the inquiry heard how desperate children in third world countries were gang-raped and paid for sex by staff working for foreign aid NGOs, with victims’ families reporting they were powerless to stop the abuse.

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