Sexual harassment in the aid industry - a statement by ActionAid

An ActionAid spokesperson said:
“Across the 45 countries ActionAid operates in globally, in the last five years there have been 20 incidents of staff sexual harassment reported and two safeguarding incidents. None of these 22 incidents involved harm to beneficiaries. All of these were dealt with using the safeguarding and anti-sexual harassment processes in place and were concluded.
"Throughout the ActionAid Federation we have a zero-tolerance policy on any form of sexual harassment and misconduct, and clear child protection policies aimed to protect beneficiaries. We have a whistleblowing policy to encourage staff to come forward if they have any concerns and if an allegation is made, processes are in place to ensure immediate and decisive action is taken.
"ActionAid prioritises creating an environment in which people can hold us accountable and feel safe to report incidents that in any way make them feel uncomfortable or threatened. Staff and beneficiaries need to feel confident that our safeguarding policies will protect and support them.
"We have been taking proactive steps to strengthen our accountability to communities and supporters, and develop our safeguarding policy and procedures to ensure they are fit for purpose.
"We know from our work all over the world that violence against women knows no nationality. It may manifest in different ways, or be exacerbated because of a woman’s ethnicity, gender identity or socioeconomic status, but it is ever-present. 
"ActionAid strives to create a world where women and girls have an equal voice and can claim their rights regardless of where they are born.  We put women front and centre of everything that we do. Our local community-based staff work directly with women and girls to provide them with the tools and skills they need to help themselves."