Sunday, 25 February 2018

The UK acts on sexual misconduct by foreign aid charities but Australia's Julie Bishop just went on a London jog

On Tuesday when our Foreign Minister Julie Bishop staged a jog around with her UK counterpart Boris Johnson, back in his Foreign Office they were grappling with the catalogue of abuse and harassment allegations at some of Britain’s biggest aid charities. Penny Mordaunt, the International Development Secretary, was setting a weeks-end deadline to submit reports on how they are protecting children and vulnerable people.
Ms Mordaunt revealed she had set the deadline for almost 200 UK charities to disclose any safeguarding issues after aid charities admitted to a string of sexual misconduct claims. 
“Given the concerns about the wider sector this case has raised, I have written to every UK charity working overseas that receives UK aid – 192 organisations – insisting that they spell out the steps they are taking to ensure their safeguarding policies are fully in place and confirm they have referred all concerns they have about specific cases and individuals to the relevant authorities, including prosecuting authorities,” she said.
“I have set a deadline of February 26 for all UK charities working overseas to give us the assurances that we have asked for and to raise any concerns with the relevant authorities.”
Given that this scandal about sexual misconduct was receiving extensive coverage while minister Bishop was in London, the Owl is surprised that Australia has not followed Ms Mordaunt's example.

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