International Planned Parenthood Federation: Sexual Offences

Department for International Development written question – answered on 4th July 2019.

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Photo of Bill Cash Bill Cash Chair, European Scrutiny Committee, Chair, European Scrutiny Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment has been made of the effectiveness of his Department’s response to the allegations of sexual misconduct within the International Planned Parenthood Federation.

Photo of Bill Cash Bill Cash Chair, European Scrutiny Committee, Chair, European Scrutiny Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps his Department is taking in response to the recent allegations of institutional and sexual abuse of young people in the International Planned Parenthood Federation.

Photo of Andrew Murrison Andrew Murrison Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

The UK government take issues of fraud and sexual exploitation and abuse and sexual harassment extremely seriously. As set out in DFID funding agreements with all partners, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) has a clear obligation to report incidents to us.

Over the past year, IPPF’s Director General and IPPF’s Safeguarding Unit have taken significant steps to strengthen their internal systems and to shift culture at the organisation so that people feel safer and more able to report wrongdoing. Action taken by IPPF includes a Safeguarding Taskforce to review and improve overall processes; IPPF’s first employee engagement survey; a set of best-practice safeguarding policies and procedures, including an Independent Complaints Panel; an IPPF SafeReport, which provides a safe space for anyone – including staff, clients, volunteers or member of the public – to raise concerns.

We continue to regularly review IPPF against our high standards for safeguarding, whistleblowing, risk, governance and code of conduct, and we conduct regular assessments of their safeguarding procedures. In addition to recent safeguarding reforms, IPPF is currently conducting a review of its governance system and structures, which IPPF anticipate will take around six months. During this time DFID will monitor IPPF’s governance reforms closely and regularly.

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