An ActionAid spokesperson said:
“Across the 45 countries ActionAid operates in globally, in the last five years there have been 20 incidents of staff sexual harassment reported and two safeguarding incidents. None of these 22 incidents involved harm to the communities we work with and none of these involved Australian staff. All were dealt with using the safeguarding and anti-sexual harassment processes ActionAid has in place and were concluded.
As a signatory to the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) Code of Conduct, ActionAid Australia has robust safeguarding policies in place that are in line with global best practice and those of the ActionAid Federation.
Throughout the ActionAid Federation we have a zero-tolerance policy on any form of sexual harassment and misconduct and clear child protection policies aimed at protecting the communities we work with. We have a whistleblowing policy to encourage staff to come forward if they have any concerns and if an allegation is made, processes are in place to ensure immediate and decisive action is taken.
ActionAid prioritises creating an environment in which people can hold us accountable and feel safe to report incidents that in any way make them feel uncomfortable or threatened. We work to ensure that staff and the communities we work with feel confident that our safeguarding policies will protect and support them.
We have been taking proactive steps to strengthen our accountability to communities and supporters, and develop our safeguarding policy and procedures across the Federation to ensure they are fit for purpose.
We know from our work all over the world that violence against women knows no nationality. It may manifest in different ways, or be exacerbated because of a woman’s race, ethnicity, ability, gender identity or socioeconomic status, but it is ever-present.
ActionAid strives to create a world where women and girls have an equal voice and can claim their rights regardless of where they are born. We put women’s rights front and centre of everything that we do. Our local community-based staff work directly with women and girls to provide them with the tools and skills they need to take action to protect their rights and respond to violations.
We will continue to be transparent and accountable, which is vital for the communities we work with as well as for those who so generously support our work in the world’s poorest places.”
About ActionAid Australia – www.actionaid.org/australia
ActionAid is a global movement of people working together to further human rights for all and defeat poverty.
For all media enquiries, please contact Holly Miller, Head of Communications, ActionAid Australia:
- Tel: +61 (0)432 781 294
- Email: [email protected]