NEWS
17/10/2018 08:55 BST

Sexual Predators Targeting Charities To Be Put On Global Register

The database will be announced at an international summit on safeguarding in the aid sector.

PA

Britain is to kickstart efforts to create a global register of alleged sexual predators working in the aid sector.

International Development secretary Penny Mordaunt will on Thursday announce plans for the database, which will be lead with a £2 million injection of British cash.

The register, named Soteria after the Greek goddess of protection, will encompass Interpol’s green-notice system which sends alerts about individuals suspected to be a threat to public safety.

The database will be announced as part of an international summit to tackle sexual exploitation, hosted by the Department for international Development.

It is hoped the event will discuss ways to overhaul the culture, after Mordaunt voiced concerns that sex offenders were deliberately targeting vulnerable women and children through charities.

It will be a way for charities to access international criminal record checks and could lead to travel restrictions being imposed, according to The Times.

The unveiling follows revelations that aid workers in Haiti were accused of sexual misconduct during a 2010 disaster operation following a disastrous earthquake.

An investigation by the newspaper in February brought to light the scale of accusations.

The charity was accused of covering up the abuse and did not pass on information about individuals to other charities.

The database will be a “one stop shop” for NGOs to check past records present and future employees, and will operate from Africa and Asia.

Mordaunt told The Times: “The most shocking thing [about the Oxfam scandal] was the inadequacy of that organisation’s response - the utter lack of moral compass as to what the right course of action was towards the victims and in allowing someone who shouldn’t have been. In a position of authority to transfer to other organisations.”

She added that the events which took place in Haiti “cannot happen again”.

Oxfam operations were hit by the scandal, with DfID temporarily banning funding of the charity.

Haiti also stopped the charity from working in the country following the allegations.

In July, the Charity Commission said it had received 1,152 reports of sexual abuse since the Oxfam scandal broke.