Government to fund global register of sex offenders in the charity sector

Haitian earthquake

Haitians queue for aid following the 2010 earthquake. Image: Getty

Thursday, October 18, 2018

The government is launching a global register of suspected sexual predators to crack down on abuse in the foreign aid sector.

The register is named Soteria after the Greek goddess of protection and will be funded by £2 million of British aid money.

The five-year programme will operate from two hubs in Africa and Asia, and allow charities to check the criminal records of future, and existing, employees.



Interpol, the Association of Chief Police Officers’ Criminal Records Office and the Department for International Development will work together on the database, which will issue international alerts if someone is deemed to be a threat to public safety.

The announcement of the programme by international development secretary Penny Mordaunt today, follows the Oxfam abuse scandal, where volunteers sexually exploited victims of the Haiti earthquake in 2010.

The Charity Commission said it had received 1,152 reports of sexual abuse in the sector since the Oxfam scandal came to light.


Charity recruitment has not "developed hugely"

Child protection consultant, David Niven, told talkRADIO's Mike Graham that the third sector had not "developed hugely" in terms of recruiting volunteers.

"The roots of charities was kind of like the lady of the manor taking care of the poor of the parish, and we've not really, essentially in volunteerism, developed hugely since then," Mr Niven said.

"If you could just give us a couple of days a week that would be excellent, I don't care that you've been in prison or whatever.

"I think now after the Oxfam affair and others, people are really tightening the screws. 

"You give people access to the most vulnerable, and if they're not particularly well-centred people themselves they're going to take advantage of it because that's human nature unfortunately, with a small minority of our population."