14 February 2018
This statement by the British Red Cross is in response to allegations of sexual misconduct in the aid sector
We are deeply shocked by the reports of sexual misconduct by humanitarian aid workers.
There have been no dismissals of British Red Cross staff working overseas for reasons relating to sexual misconduct in the past five years.
The British Red Cross operates overseas as part of the international Red Cross/Red Crescent movement. All British Red Cross staff working overseas are bound by a strict IFRC* Code of Conduct, which sets clear standards against harassment, abuse, discrimination and exploitation.
We are a voluntary organisation and have over 20,000 volunteers who deliver much of our work in the UK.
Last year, a small number of volunteers were removed from the organisation because of incidents relating to sexual misconduct. These were investigated and the appropriate action was taken, including reporting to the police. There have been no dismissals of British Red Cross staff working in the UK for reasons relating to sexual misconduct in the last year.
Even a small number of incidents is too many. We have a zero tolerance policy to any form of sexual misconduct.
We have clear safeguarding policies and procedures which support staff, volunteers and the people we help to speak out in confidence.
We take our responsibility to safeguard all people who come into contact with the British Red Cross, including our own staff and volunteers, extremely seriously.
*International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies