Safeguarding, Scandals and Sexual Exploitation

Charities have come under intense scrutiny since it was revealed earlier this year that Oxfam staff used prostitutes in Haiti during a relief mission after the country’s earthquake in 2010. This scandal was quickly followed by similar revelations of sexual exploitation by staff at Save the Children. These are serious scandals which have prompted greater enquiry and have since been followed by a report from the parliamentary International Development Committee (IDC) stating that sexual abuse is “endemic” within the humanitarian aid sector.

We at Action Through Enterprise want to make it clear that safeguarding of children, young people and vulnerable adults is something that we take incredibly seriously. ATE was founded and continues to grow and develop in order to reduce poverty and improve lives for people living in Lawra District in the Upper West Region of Ghana. Doing so in a way in which we ensure the protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults wherever possible and responding quickly and appropriately to circumstances that arise is one of our utmost concerns.

In the wake of the Oxfam and Save the Children scandals we took the opportunity to look again at our policies, processes and principles of safeguarding, and how we are embedding these throughout every level of the organisation. We want to take the opportunity to share our principles of zero tolerance to sexual exploitation and encourage anyone with any concerns about anyone involved in our programmes to contact us at: We will listen to your concerns, and take steps to protect the child, young person or vulnerable adult with utmost urgency.

ATE’s zero tolerance to sexual exploitation:

  • ATE has zero tolerance to sexual exploitation and a commitment to protect vulnerable people
  • We will do everything in our power to ensure we have procedures and practices in place to match our zero tolerance of sexual exploitation
  • The trustees accept responsibility for ensuring high standards of behaviour across the entire organisation

You can also raise concerns directly to our Chair of Trustees: or raise a complaint to the Charity Commission, the regulator for charities in England and Wales, here: