London Conference Addressing Sexual Abuse In Aid Sector Hears Commitments, Protests

Devex: Commitments and chaos at London’s #AidToo summit
“Hundreds of delegates from government and civil society gathered in central London Thursday to discuss how to prevent sexual abuse in light of the scandals that have rocked the aid sector in recent months. The key announcement at the International Safeguarding Summit was a register of aid workers to be piloted at hubs in Africa and Asia, in partnership with Interpol, with the aim of preventing abusers from moving between countries and organizations. The United Kingdom’s Department for International Development is putting up a fifth of the £10 million ($13 million) needed for the project…” (Abrahams, 10/19).

The Guardian: Penny Mordaunt confronted on stage by protester over failings on aid sex abuse
“Penny Mordaunt was dramatically confronted on stage by a protester who accused her of failing to give women a voice at a conference on sex abuse in the aid sector. Alexia Pepper De Caires, a whistleblower and former Save the Children employee, approached the minister while she was delivering her speech in London on Thursday. Pepper De Caires said: ‘A number of us would like to be on this platform but we have been kept back by DFID [Department for International Development] and your attempts to control women who are speaking out in this sector’…” (McVeigh/Summers, 10/18).

IRIN: Schemes to stop sex abuse in the aid sector off to a shaky start
“…As the host of the 18 October London conference on steps to address sexual abuse in the aid sector, [Mordaunt] went for a bumpy ride: a prominent activist conspicuously boycotted the event; a whistleblower interrupted Mordaunt’s keynote address, walking on stage and charging that victims were not being heard; and the agenda, speaker list, and planning process all came under heavy fire in private and across social media. On top of all that, critics charged that the event was elitist and white-dominated. Before the U.K.-hosted international Safeguarding Summit 2018 even began, the flagship initiative for which the conference had been intended to serve as a launching pad had already come under sharp criticism…” (Parker, 10/18).

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