While the recent headlines and allegations of sexual misconduct in the aid sector have raised awareness of potentially systemic problems, there has been less discussion of organisational and policy steps that can be taken to promote accountability and to prevent and deter misconduct.
The panel discussion convenes a range of experts and current and former practitioners to discuss the safeguarding challenges facing the aid sector and how to address them as matters of public and/or organisational policy.
Helen Evans was Global Head of Safeguarding at Oxfam GB until 2015. In the wake of #AidToo she has written in The Times about the sector's need for a dedicated regulator. Helen has been Chair of Oxfordshire's Rape Crisis Centre and is an alumna of the Jo Cox Women in Leadership programme. Helen is now an Oxfordshire County Councillor and independent consultant working in the charitable sector.
Shaista Aziz is a journalist and writer, and a former international aid worker. She has worked as a broadcast journalist and producer for the BBC and as a media specialist for Oxfam, Amnesty International, Save the Children and MSF. Following the Oxfam revelations, she wrote for the Guardian about the need for reform in the aid sector.
Dr Marsha Henry is Deputy Director of the Centre for Women, Peace and Security and Associate Professor in the Department of Gender Studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Marsha’s research interests focus on critical military and peacekeeping studies; the political economy of sexual violence in postconflict settings; and intersectional feminist theories and methodologies.
Steve Reeves is the Director of Child Safeguarding at Save the Children, the world’s largest independent children’s charity - operating in 120 countries and reaching over 50 million children each year. Steve has a first degree in International Politics and a Masters degree in Criminology, coupled with extensive professional training and experience in the field of safeguarding and the prevention of child sexual abuse.
Asmita Naik is co-author of the UNHCR/SCUK 2002 report on sexual exploitation in the aid sector in West Africa. Asmita has continued over the years to contribute to discussions on this issue through articles in Forced Migration Review and Humanitarian Practice Network as well as by acting as a resource person for researchers, journalists, practitioners and others interested in following up this issue. Asmita works as an independent consultant in international development and human rights and has been involved in various accountability initiatives in the sector.