Minister writes to international NGOs

Partner organisations expected to be "open, honest and transparent".

Following allegations of abuse and misconduct by staff in the international development sector, International Development Minister Dr Alasdair Allan has written to all non-governmental organisations working overseas and funded by the Scottish Government. 

The Minister has asked for confirmation that robust safeguarding policies are in place to protect vulnerable groups.

The full text of the letter can be viewed below.


You will be aware of recent media reports of serious misconduct and sexual abuse by staff working in the international development sector, specifically in relation to vulnerable groups.

The Scottish Government expects the highest moral and ethical standards from those we fund to provide services to those people and communities who look to our support at their time of greatest need. We will not tolerate any form of human rights abuses or misconduct, wherever they take place.

We expect our partner organisations wherever they are to monitor their work closely, and to be open, honest and transparent with us, and the public whenever there are any suggestions of abuse or malpractice. Therefore, I am asking all international NGOs that the Scottish Government funds to confirm that you have robust safeguarding policies in place to protect vulnerable groups, and that if you have become aware of specific incidents, that they have been referred to the relevant authorities where necessary.

I would also like to make it clear that any such incidents occurring in relation to projects either wholly or jointly funded by the Scottish Government should be reported to your Grant Manager immediately.

The Scottish Government recognises that the vast majority of those working in international development and humanitarian emergencies do so in a diligent and appropriate manner. However, the Scottish Government will not hesitate to take appropriate action whenever we suspect that any abuse has occurred, and we expect the same commitment from those working with us.

Alasdair Allan


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