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Statement by the Chief Minister regarding international charities

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Following the revelations regarding the shocking behaviour of some Oxfam officials I am writing to all charities registered in the Island and those that are in receipt of Isle of Man Government International Development Funding, to ask for assurances that there are adequate safeguarding arrangements in place to protect vulnerable people.

This appalling matter is now being investigated by the Charities Commission for England and Wales. It would be wrong to prejudge the results of that inquiry, but we will be keeping our funding of Oxfam international development projects under review until we have seen the outcome of that report.

We appreciate the excellent work of charities across all sectors and will not have our confidence undermined by the morally reprehensible behaviour of a few individuals. Last year, our international development funding included the construction of two new schools in Nepal, the provision of clean water to communities in Kenya, and the distribution of shelter kits to refugees fleeing war torn Mosul.

We are a responsible Island and remain committed to playing our part through international development support to help those less fortunate than ourselves. Indeed, who can fail to be moved to action by the horrific circumstances of those struggling to survive through war, or those who are forced to flee their homes because they are dealing with the consequences of famine, drought, hurricanes or earthquakes.

It is important however that we can be assured and confident that the charities we support have strong moral leadership with a transparent culture and robust safeguarding procedures to ensure that the people they are there to help are protected from exploitation.

I am determined that the Isle of Man does its utmost to ensure its funding goes to those charities where these safeguards are in place.

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