The UK’s approach to safeguarding in the humanitarian sector

A forthcoming review will examine the UK’s approach to safeguarding in the humanitarian sector.

  1. Status: In progress
  2. Last updated: 2 July 2021
  3. Type: Full review
  4. Subject: Democracy, governance and human rights, Humanitarian assistance, Peace, security and justice, Women and girls
  5. Lead commissioner: Sir Hugh Bayley
  6. SDGs covered:Reduced inequalities, Peace, justice and strong institutions, Gender equality

Latest news

We are conducting a review of the UK’s approach to safeguarding in the humanitarian sector. We have published our approach paper and we are currently gathering evidence – see the ‘approach’ tab. We expect to publish this review in spring 2022.


Safeguarding at-risk adults and children from physical and emotional abuse, exploitation and neglect across a multiplicity of industries and social sectors has become a matter of acute concern to policy makers and the public. In recent years, within the aid sector, the UK government’s attention has focused on safeguarding against sexual exploitation and abuse and sexual harassment.

This review will focus on the humanitarian aid sector and will examine the extent to which the UK government’s safeguarding efforts have been effective in preventing and responding to sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) of affected populations, perpetrated by aid workers operating in humanitarian aid contexts. The review will consider how well the UK government has identified and addressed evidence gaps about best practice for protection from sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA) and how well it has developed a coherent response to the issue.

Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals relevant to this review are:

  • Sustainable Development Goal 10: Reduced inequalities
  • Sustainable Development Goal 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions
  • Sustainable Development Goal 5: Gender equality



Published 2 July

Evidence gathering


Review publication

Expected spring 2022