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In response to the very shocking reports of sexual exploitation by staff working for UK-based international NGOs, Muslim Aid can confirm that we are dedicated to the protection of vulnerable people worldwide. We are therefore committed to a zero-tolerance approach to such misconduct and abuse of power relations within our own organisation and across the aid sector.
Muslim Aid believes that all our staff in the UK and Country Offices must maintain the highest standards of professional behaviour and personal conduct, in line with our faith-based values, to continue to serve humanity. We must maintain moral responsibility to the vulnerable children and adults we work with, and we must remain transparent and accountable to the UK public and to institutional donors, who entrust us to spend their funds effectively through our poverty-alleviation programmes.
Muslim Aid has policies and procedures in place to safeguard beneficiaries of our programmes, the wider communities where we work, and our own staff and volunteers in the UK and Country Offices. Our work is guided by policies on:
All these papers are reviewed at regular intervals to ensure that our staff practices are updated with the latest sector-wide information and standards.
In response to the current situation, Muslim Aid will be undertaking an immediate review of our relevant policies, including re-assessing the efficacy of our complaints and reporting procedures. We will review our already stringent recruitment processes and are keen to continue our work on relevant training for staff throughout our Head Office in the UK and 15 Country Offices.
We wholeheartedly agree with the Secretary of State for International Development that further effort needs to be made by the sector to protect vulnerable people, and we will co-operate fully with the Department and other international organisations to improve standards and measures of safeguarding.