Australian Red Cross welcomes the findings and recommendations of an independent review commissioned by the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) to improve the practice and response of its members in the prevention of sexual misconduct.
Australian Red Cross CEO, Judy Slatyer, said: “This review is an important opportunity for the aid sector to further strengthen organisational approaches and attitudes to prevent sexual misconduct.
“Australian Red Cross has zero tolerance of any sexual exploitation and abuse of any kind and has a deep commitment to having safe working environments for the people we serve, staff and volunteers.
“We’re very serious about fostering a deep culture of respect and ethical behaviour and preventing any form of discrimination, harassment or abuse within our organisation and across the humanitarian sector.
“We are also committed to working with the government, regulators, humanitarian partners, other relevant organisations and the people we serve to provide a safe and trusted environment.
“Red Cross has cooperated fully with the review and in principle, we agree with its recommendations, many of which involve sensible steps that we have already implemented. We are studying all the recommendations in detail.
“We have continuous review of our systems and strengthening processes including those that ensure it’s safe for anyone affected to come forward and report incidents or concerns with the assurance that they will be handled sensitively and properly.
“It is so important that all allegations are investigated properly across the sector. People must feel safe and empowered to raise concerns. We regularly encourage staff to make use of a dedicated, confidential and independent phone hotline and helpline if they have any concerns.
“Most of all, we will continue to listen to communities and staff, taking action to further build a culture where everyone is respected,” Ms Slatyer said.
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