Back in 2018, at that time UK Secretary of State Penny Mordaunt speaking at the Safeguarding Summit in October 2018 said: “If we do our jobs right, we won’t hear about fewer cases. We are likely to hear about more, at least in the medium-term.” An increase in the number of reported cases of safeguarding misconduct can also be seen as a sign of increased awareness, better-functioning channels of reporting and increased confidence of victims to speak about their experiences.
That does not make individual allegations of sexual misconduct, bullying, and other abuses of power any less worrying. Danny Sriskandarajah, CEO of Oxfam speaks about the efforts of Oxfam to change the view of the organization over abuses, as a risk inherent in our work, to encourage staff and beneficiaries to come forward and express concerns and to thoroughly investigate complaints, using external expertise where needed.
From April 2018 to September 2020, 88 staff across the Oxfam confederation have been dismissed following sexual abuse and exploitation allegations, and in many more cases, other appropriate action has been taken.