Australian aid groups apologise for worker misconduct

November 26, 2018

More than nine months after Conservative Party leader Cory Bernardi called on the federal government to suspend foreign aid to organisations that do not have adequate management practices in place to prevent misappropriation of funds, sexual harassment, and transparency regarding & prevention of sexual misconduct, evidence of ongoing malpractice has emerged.

Senator Bernardi has consistently called for the government to do everything in its power to protect women and the vulnerable from depraved exploitation

Aid organisations in Australia are apologising to sexual abuse and harassment victims after an investigation substantiated 31 claims involving aid workers. The incidents ranged from abuse against members of the local community to harassment against fellow staff members.

At least 48 aid workers have been terminated, suspended, or referred to the police, according to a report from the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID).

As an umbrella organisation in the non-profit sector, the ACFID said it is now moving to “shed light on” and rectify its “failings”.

“We would like to acknowledge and apologise to the victims/survivors of sexual misconduct who have been harmed – both those we work alongside and those we exist to protect and support,” the ACFID said in a statement.

The council commissioned the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine (VIFM) to lead the probe, which found evidence for 17 cases of sexual harassment, six cases of sexual abuse, and eight cases of sexual misconduct occurring in the past three years.

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