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Project Soteria, currently being implemented in Africa and Asia, aims to prevent sexual predators from abusing some of the world’s most vulnerable people

In its largest ever partnership with the aid sector, INTERPOL has launched a new project aimed at cracking down on perpetrators of Sexual Exploitation, Harassment and Abuse (SEAH) working for humanitarian and development organizations.

Project Soteria, named after the Greek goddess of safety, has already enlisted the support of more than 20 prominent aid organizations, including Oxfam, Save the Children and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

The globalized nature of humanitarian and development work, combined with the urgency with which staff often need to be recruited and deployed, presents challenges for aid organizations in conducting thorough screening of staff both before and after their hiring.

Too often, past sexual offenders are able to continue working and moving within the sector, putting children and vulnerable adults at risk.

“We must end sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment in the international development and humanitarian sectors,” said Foreign, Commonwealth and Development (FCDO) Minister with responsibility for safeguarding, Vicky Ford.

“That is why the UK is working with INTERPOL, NGOs and others involved in Project Soteria to identify and take action against sexual perpetrators. We are shining a spotlight on these abuses to keep vulnerable people safe from harm,” the Minister added.

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