Safeguarding in Action

Last Updated: 02/07/2021


If an employee, volunteer, partner, consultant or contractor suspects misconduct has, or is about to occur, we encourage them to communicate their suspicions without fear of reprisals and in the knowledge that they will be protected from victimisation and dismissal.


Safeguarding concerns and fraud/corruption-related misconduct can be reported to Oxfam Ireland via email or Oxfam International via online form

All reports are confidential and we will only share the details with the appropriate team members to progress your complaint. Reporters/survivors/complainants can choose to stay anonymous. Please see the data protection notice for information on how your information will be processed.

Oxfam International Privacy Policy
Oxfam Ireland Privacy Policy

It is our priority to ensure that our staff, volunteers, partners and those we serve are safe and valued in the workplace and across our programmes. To achieve this, we are continually working to improve our policies and procedures, safeguarding processes and culture.


We completely condemn and will not tolerate any form of abuse in the workplace or across our programmes and are continually working to improve our culture and safeguarding processes.

Ongoing work in Oxfam Ireland

In February 2018, Oxfam agreed on a comprehensive global action plan (our 10 Point Plan) to review and update our safeguarding policies and procedures in line with global best practice.

Since the beginning of our 10 Point Plan to review and update our safeguarding policies and procedures across Oxfam Ireland and the confederation, we continue to make significant progress in strengthening our own all-island safeguarding systems by:

  • Providing training on our robust policies and procedures. This includes safeguarding policies specific to our work in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland as well as globally
  • Reforming our HR systems, including by strengthening our referencing processes and enhancing our staff inductions and performance management to include a focus on behaviours, culture and safeguarding
  • Introducing new standard operating procedures to improve safeguarding reporting here and throughout the confederation
  • Responding to feedback from staff gathered at seven different Living Our Values workshops with a total of 151 participants from across the organisation
  • Signing up to the Dóchas Safeguarding Code, in addition to continuing to adhere to existing code.

​We are committed to making Oxfam Ireland a safe place to work and volunteer and will continue working to develop even more robust policies that prevent abuse and protect, value and empower people.

In our last financial year (2020-2021), we received no complaints in Oxfam Ireland relating to safeguarding, nor do we have any open safeguarding cases.

Ongoing work across Oxfam globally

As an international organisation, we remain committed to working with others across the sector and in government to implement changes that protect people and prevent abuse all while working to ensure that gender equality becomes a stronger part of our work.


As part of our 10 Point Plan, we established an Independent Commission on Sexual Misconduct led by women’s rights experts and asked them to hold us to the highest standards in reviewing all aspects of our culture, policies and practices relating to safeguarding.


They released their final report in June 2019 and we accepted their criticisms and welcomed their recommendations, many of which we have already acted on.


We are committed to proving regular updates on progress against our 10 Point Plan.
In May 2019, we released our fourth update.

To date, we have:

  • Increased budget, resources and staff to drive culture change across the entire confederation
  • Introduced new policies on child safeguarding, protection, sexual diversity, and ethical content gathering
  • Reformed our HR systems to strengthen our referencing processes and better recruit and train staff and volunteers
  • Introduced a new performance management process that emphasises accountability
  • Implemented new standard operating procedures to improve timeliness and consistency of safeguarding reporting
  • Planned for a new global safeguarding shared service and case management system
  • Completed a staff-wide survey to help us to understand our culture
  • Started workshops and staff initiatives for self-refection, discussion and actions to change our culture
  • Made an organisation-wide commitment to make gender equality an even stronger part of our work


We are determined to show leadership when it comes to safeguarding, implementing and championing policies and procedures in line with national and international best practice.


Above all, we will continue to work hard to strengthen our systems so that we can do more and better for the world’s poorest and to ensure that nothing stops our life-saving and life-changing work.


We cannot do this without our supporters. With your ongoing help, we will continue to support people affected by poverty, disaster and injustice, putting their safety and dignity first.

Our commitment to keeping you informed

As we continue to strengthen our safeguarding policies and procedures, we want to keep you informed. One of our key achievements was the roll-out in June 2020 of our new Global Case Management System for safeguarding, fraud and corruption which will enable strengthened data analysis and oversight across the confederation and improve the quality and consistency of the management of cases.


In addition, we are strengthening our safeguarding capacity with full-time safeguarding staff in countries that have large scale humanitarian programming, and adapting and improving our approach to safeguarding in the context of Covid-19.

Our latest report includes our safeguarding data and what we have done over October 2020 to March 2021.