BY Daniel Harkins | February 15 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Two cases of sexual misconduct against children dealt with by SCIAF, charity confirms.

SCIAF have revealed they have dealt with two cases of alleged sexual misconduct against children in recent years.

It comes amid a growing scandal around international aid agencies sparked by an investigation in The Times into the activities of Oxfam in Haiti.

SCIAF, Scotland’s Catholic aid agency, said one case involved the alleged rape in 2012 of a 15-year-old girl by a 45-year-old Burundian man who volunteered for a local partner organisation in Burundi. SCIAF often works by providing funds for local agencies on the ground.

A second case in 2016 involved an Ethiopian man accused of sexual misconduct with a boy under 16.

The man worked in the shared office of SCIAF and its sister English and Irish aid charities Cafod and Trócaire. Cafod this week sacked an employee after it emerged he was accused of sexual misconduct in Haiti while working for Oxfam. Trócaire previously this week had said they take a ‘zero tolerance approach to sexual exploitation.’

International aid has come under scrutiny this week after reports that Oxfam concealed findings of an inquiry that claimed staff used prostitutes while delivering aid in Haiti in 2011. The charity’s deputy chief executive has resigned over the scandal.

SCIAF director Alistair Dutton said both of their historical incidents were dealt with ‘decisively.’ The charity said that in the first case the Burundi man was reported to police, arrested and suspended as a volunteer, and in the second the man was suspended immediately and has since been dismissed for gross misconduct following an internal investigation. A criminal case against him is ongoing.

“SCIAF is doing everything we can to minimise the risk of these events and to deal with them appropriately,” Mr Dutton said.

“We commissioned a well-known and respected safeguarding expert in the sector to conduct an external evaluation for us. He reviewed all our child protection policies including these two cases and commended us for our policies but also the way we dealt with the cases.

“SCIAF helps about a quarter of a million people directly every year, that makes a massive difference for some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world.
“In over 50 years we have had two cases reported to us relating to sexual misconduct and both were dealt with decisively.”

“I want to reassure all our supporters that you can trust us, that we do have policies and procedures in place and that we do deal decisively with any hint of a safeguarding issue. I won’t tolerate that in any part of our operation.”

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