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27 February 2018

Statement regarding integrity

Recently, the misconduct of Oxfam UK employees came to light during the relief work after the earthquake in 2010. Shockingly, given the vulnerable situation in which people were affected by the earthquake, and the fact that emergency workers – who are supposed to protect people – played this role.

Although there is no connection between the work of Light for the World Netherlands and the work of Oxfam UK in Haiti, Light for the World warmly supports NL Minister Kaag’s call to development organisations in The Netherlands. Kaag called on development organisations to be transparent about the way in which abuse is prevented and, if necessary, reported. Light for the World works with a target group that is at extra risk when it comes to (sexual) abuse: children, and in particular girls with a disability. For this reason we value an open organisational culture (in which abuses can be reported) and careful procedures. We therefore declare the following:

  1. Light for the World NL endorses the code of conduct of the development sector association Partos;
  2. Light for the World NL has a clear policy with clear procedures and measures to adequately protect people – both in their own organisation and programs that are supported. Light for the World allows all people and organisations that carry out tasks to sign two declarations in advance: the Code of conduct on sexual exploitation, abuse of power and corruption and the Code of conduct on child protection;
  3. Light for the World NL is constantly working on an open and safe culture, in which persons who perceive integrity violations dare to speak out, dare to report incidents and concerns, with the assurance that this is handled carefully;
  4. Light for the World NL has an external confidential advisor, where abuses can be reported.

In practice
In Uganda, abuse of young girls, especially girls with disabilities, is a huge problem. In our project we stimulate the resilience of girls, so that they dare to say ‘no’ and make a call when there is undesirable behavior. There is collaboration with social protection officers and the police. Together with PLAN International we cooperate in the ‘My Body, My Future’ programme, which includes the above approach.

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