23 February 2018

Statement - British Red Cross response to cases of sexual misconduct in the aid sector

We are fully committed to tackling sexual harassment and misconduct and promoting an environment in which all staff, volunteers and those we seek to help feel empowered to report any misconduct.

There have been no dismissals of British Red Cross staff working overseas for reasons relating to sexual misconduct in at least 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 in the UK. In the past year, 15 of those 20,000 volunteers have been investigated concerning incidents related to sexual misconduct and appropriate action has been taken, resulting in 11 dismissals.

Three members of UK-based staff are currently subject to allegations relating to sexual harassment or misconduct, all of whom are currently being investigated. There have been no further dismissals of British Red Cross staff working in the UK for reasons relating to sexual misconduct in the last year.

We condemn all forms of sexual misconduct and we do not tolerate any form of this behaviour. We treat all complaints extremely seriously and any violations will lead to disciplinary action, and where appropriate will be reported to the police.

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