Letter to The Australian

05 Jun, 2018

Letter to the Australian regarding opionion piece: 'Sexploitative NGOs are no more than trans­national misogynists'.

Far from working “in the absence of accountability” (Sexploitative NGOs are no more than trans¬national misogynists, 4 June), members of the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) are totally committed to safeguarding people and adhere to a regime of strict standards, compliance measures and oversight. 

On top of their own policies and practice, ACFID’s members working in international development must comply with a Code of Conduct in which safeguarding is paramount and must be registered with the national charities regulator – the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Commission. In the delivery of Australia’s aid program, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) institutes further layers of safeguarding for its partners, including mandatory reporting of children at risk. For NGOs to become major partners with DFAT, there is a rigorous accreditation system. Overarching this, is Australian law and importantly, Australia’s extraterritorial legislation which applies to all citizens in relation to child sex exploitation.

There is not an “absence of accountability” but nor will we sit on our hands. Following the deeply troubling reports from the UK, ACFID has commissioned an independent review to look at the system in Australia and the culture within our membership to examine implementation. We will use its findings and do whatever it takes to prevent abuses of power and protect vulnerable people.

Marc Purcell – CEO of the Australian Council for International Development

Media Contact

Tim Watkin on 0401 721 064 or at [email protected]