Stricter checks on aid workers disaster relief

Last week in parliament, Stephen put forward a ten minute bill to MPs seeking stricter checks on aid workers giving disaster relief to counties in need.

Stephen`s motion has cross party support from other members. The ten minute rule bill, which is called the International Development (Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups) Bill, is designed to give greater protection to children and vulnerable adults during development assistance and disaster relief.

Earlier in the year, scandal broke out after it was discovered various charities working overseas had volunteers and employees involved in the sexual exploitation and abuse of vulnerable groups of people including children. It was found that some of those involved did not have sufficient safeguarding checks beforehand; currently there is no coherent system for vetting prospective aid workers however Stephen`s bill takes the first step towards changing this.

Stephen highlighted the need for safeguarding practice across these organisations as well as the benefits of a safe, inclusive workplace ethos. He made clear that allegations of abuse or harassment being swept under the carpet for the sake of organisational reputation is unacceptable in any form: he stated that all organisations should have robust safeguarding mechanisms against issues of this nature.

The Bill will receive a second reading later in the year.

Watch Stephen`s contribution here:

Stephen Twigg