Call for global DBS check in wake of hundreds of abuse complaints against aid workers

A global DBS check for aid workers should be introduced to better protect vulnerable children from sexual abuse, ministers have been told.

Labour former minister Stephen Twigg made the call after the Charity Commission revealed around 1,100 complaints about safeguarding in aid agencies had been made since the Oxfam sex scandal.

Oxfam was plunged into crisis in February after it emerged some of its workers in Haiti engaged in “sex parties” with prostitutes in the aftermath of the devastating 2010 earthquake.

The scandal rippled out to other aid organisations, including Save The Children.

Mr Twigg (pictured), moving his International Development (Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups) Bill via a 10 minute rule motion, said there was currently no coherent system for vetting in the sector.

He said: “Currently there is no coherent system for vetting prospective aid workers, many UK-based organisations do require their staff to pass a basic background check before they can work with the vulnerable in this country, however these checks do not necessarily extend to those working overseas.

“I would like a system which enable organisations to vet prospective humanitarian workers to check their suitability, to work with children and vulnerable adults, ideally of course this system would be comprehensive and global.”

The Bill was listed for a second reading on October 26 but is unlikely to become law in its current form without government support or sufficient parliamentary time.

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2018, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Chris Ison / PA Wire.