21 Jun 18 21 Sep 18

MSF UK response to BBC allegations on sexual harassment and misconduct

We do not tolerate abuse, harassment or exploitation within MSF. We are sorry for any instances where people have been subjected to harassment, abuse or otherwise mistreated and/or felt that it was not adequately dealt with.

We know that MSF is not immune to these issues and we take any reports seriously. We have mechanisms in place to prevent, detect and address staff misconduct.  We have looked into the claims put to us by the BBC as far as we are able, but the lack of detail provided has made this difficult. Based on the information provided, we have been unable to confirm the specific allegations made in the BBC report. We would urge anyone with any concerns to report them via MSF’s confidential whistleblowing mechanisms so that we can take action.

We welcome the current scrutiny as this is what enables change in and beyond MSF. The more people talk about these issues, the more it discourages unacceptable behaviour and encourages individuals to report it.

We are deeply saddened when people do not feel able to come forward. While we have reporting mechanisms in place where complaints can be made, we know we need to do more to ensure that they are known, trusted and used by the people who need them. 

Underreporting is a key challenge as those affected may not come forward for fear of not being believed or being stigmatised. Unfortunately this is as true in MSF as it is in wider society.

We continue to improve our reporting mechanisms so people feel safe to report abuse at MSF, and to ensure that all staff understand the importance of responsible behaviour and conduct themselves in a responsible manner. We have sanctioned people for misconduct, including dismissal.

For more information on MSF’s procedures for the prevention, detection, reporting, and management of all types of misbehaviour, harassment and abuse, please see MSF’s statement released in February 2018.

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