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Oxfam's safeguarding and related policies: January 2018

Oxfam treats seriously any allegations of sexual abuse or exploitation or of other breaches of our safeguarding-related policies.  We constantly seek to learn and identify areas in which we might improve and would welcome feedback from beneficiaries and other stakeholders on our policies and otherwise.  Please contact us using the email address below.

  1. Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse Policy
    Policy Statement

    Oxfam GB will not tolerate sexually abusive or exploitative acts being perpetrated by our employees, volunteers or anyone associated with the delivery of our programmes.  Employees and managers are bound to uphold this policy and to report people or incidents that they believe contravene it.  Oxfam GB managers have a duty to ensure that allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse are investigated and that appropriate disciplinary measures are taken. Oxfam GB also has a duty to provide appropriate assistance to any victims of sexual exploitation and abuse by our staff.

  2. Child Protection Policy
    Policy Statement

    At Oxfam we believe all children under the age of 18 have a right to protection from abuse and exploitation. Whilst different cultures may have different levels of tolerance, Oxfam will not tolerate any child abuse or exploitation; it goes against the very beliefs, values and aims of our organisation.

    Oxfam is not a charity whereby children are our core business but our work regularly brings those working for or on behalf of Oxfam into contact with children. This includes direct child beneficiaries, children we come into contact with through adult beneficiaries, Young Volunteers assisting in our charitable shops, children who visit these shops and young people who engage in our campaigning or fundraising activities.

    We have a responsibility to ensure all those working for or on behalf of Oxfam are given clear guidance about the standards of behaviour and practice required of them at all times when they are in contact with children. While primarily intended to safeguard children this policy also serves to reduce the possibility of unsubstantiated allegations of improper conduct about those working for us.

    This policy acknowledges the role of the Oxfam SMS Child Protection Policy in outlining our cross affiliate minimum standards. It also recognises the responsibility of each Oxfam SMS Country Director in agreeing one cross-affiliate Child Protection Policy for their country programme. In the UK or where Oxfam GB is a single affiliate this policy will automatically be applied. In multi-affiliate countries this policy may be adopted in its entirety, used as a basis to build on the SMS minimum standards or compliment other Oxfam affiliate Child Protection policies.

    This policy does not form part of an employees' terms and conditions of employment and may be subject to change at the discretion of management.

  3. Safeguarding Adults Procedures - Trading
    Policy Statement

    Oxfam will not tolerate the abuse of adults at risk in any of its forms. Oxfam is committed to managing our business in a way which minimises the risk of abuse occurring; supporting adults at risk who are vulnerable, experiencing or have experienced abuse and working with adults at risk and other agencies to end any abuse that is taking place.

  4. Anti Bullying and Harrassment Policy
    Policy Statement

    At Oxfam GB, we believe that all people should be treated with dignity, fairness and respect. Consequently, we will not tolerate the harassment or bullying of employees, volunteers or employees of contractors whilst at work, at Oxfam GB related events or whilst carrying out Oxfam GB business. Any allegation of harassment or bullying will be dealt with in a robust and timely manner with fairness and sensitivity.

    This policy does not form part of employees' terms and conditions of employment and may be subject to change at the discretion of management.

  5. Disclosure of Malpractice in the Workplace Policy
    Policy Statement

    At Oxfam GB, it is vital that everyone who works for us maintains the highest standards of conduct, integrity and ethics, and complies with local legislation. If an employee, volunteer, consultant or contractor/partner has any genuine concerns about malpractice in the workplace, we wish to encourage them to communicate these without fear of reprisals and in the knowledge that they will be protected from victimisation and dismissal.

    This policy does not form part of an employees' terms and conditions of employment and may be subject to change at the discretion of management.

    Raising a concern

    Oxfam GB has introduced this procedure to enable employees, volunteers or contractors/consultants, to raise or disclose concerns at an early stage and in the right way. They apply in all cases where there are genuine concerns about malpractice in the workplace, regardless of where this may be and whether the information involved is confidential or not (please see Disclosure of Malpractice in the Workplace Flow Chart).

    Examples of malpractice could include the following:

    • A criminal offence including theft or fraud.
    • A failure to comply with any legal obligations.
    • A miscarriage of justice.
    • Danger to the health and safety of any individual.
    • Damage to the environment.
    • The deliberate concealment of information that may lead to any of the matters listed above. Sexual misconduct or exploitation (see Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse Policy)
    • Abuse or exploitation of children (see Child Protection Policy).

    If you have a genuine concern and have a reasonable belief it is in the public interest, even if it is later discovered that you are mistaken, under this policy you will not be at risk of losing your job or from suffering any form of retribution as a result. This assurance will not be extended to an individual who maliciously raises a matter they know to be untrue or who is involved in any way in the malpractice.

  6. Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults for England, Wales and Scotland Oxfam Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) Guidelines - UK Only

To give feedback, or for a full copy of any of the above, please email Judeth Neville, Head of Governance:

January 2018

See our standards and polices in detail

Whistleblowing: Independent confidential hotline

Oxfam GB offers an independent, third party whistleblowing hotline and case management system for use by anyone connected to our work: this includes people we work to support, staff, volunteers, partners and supporters. Anyone using this system can remain anonymous. This is in addition to our current internal safeguarding system.