Oxfam is a confederation of 20 independent charitable organisations focusing on the alleviation of global poverty. We employ over 10,000 employees and work in more than 90 countries. Oxfam is committed to upholding the highest ethical standards while providing a diverse and safe work environment for all of our employees, where they are employed, as well as the communities we work with.
Last year, Oxfam invited a group of external experts to review the culture across all of the Oxfam confederation. We asked the Independent Commission to highlight weakness in our culture against the highest standards. The interim report and its recommendations have now been published. We welcome the report and which recognises the ‘great appreciation’ of our work by partners, as well as areas where we have fallen short.
All of Oxfam, including Oxfam New Zealand, welcome this report and are utterly committed to challenging abuses of power and privilege within Oxfam, as we do externally. While Oxfam New Zealand and the countries we work in were not included in the report’s investigation, we have a duty to those we work with, our staff, donors and supporters, to continue ‘zero tolerance’ of any misconduct where ever we work.
In order to strengthen our safeguarding policies and practices, we have set a 10-Point Plan in place to ensure our values are upheld throughout the global organisation.
- Country Safeguarding Focal Points in all program countries, all to be fully trained by March 2019; new expert Safeguarding Advisors and HR staff in many affiliate headquarters, as additions to existing teams.
- Fifteen additional new roles are in place across Oxfam, including safeguarding advisors, gender advisors, Human Resources, humanitarian support staff and a role developing a rolling program of safeguarding training for all country-based staff.
- New ‘Safer Recruitment’ guidance and support materials are in use, ensuring that interview questions and job advertisements and descriptions properly reflect Oxfam’s values and safeguarding commitments, along with pre-employment staff screening and a central system for providing references.
- A new Partnership Approach and Assessment Tool to support our partners to improve their own safeguarding policies and practices and help them become safer organizations for their staff and people they serve is being rolled out.
- A new Safe Programming guide to help ensure Oxfam’s humanitarian responses minimize the likelihood of safeguarding incidents happening is being implemented.
- Standard, stronger Oxfam-wide policies and practices: Standard Operating Procedure for Reporting Misconduct including to authorities and donors, confederation wide policies on the Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, and on Child Protection, among others are complete.
Read more about our 10-Point Plan here.