The UK’s approach to safeguarding in the humanitarian sector

A review examining the UK’s approach to safeguarding in the humanitarian sector finds the government needs to do more to learn from people affected by humanitarian crises.

Score: Amber/Red
  1. Status: Completed
  2. Published: 24 February 2022
  3. Type: Full review
  4. Subject: Democracy, governance and human rights, Humanitarian assistance, Peace, security and justice, Women and girls
  5. Assessment: Amber/Red
  6. Location: Bangladesh, Uganda, Yemen
  7. Lead commissioner: Sir Hugh Bayley
  8. SDGs covered:Reduced inequalities, Peace, justice and strong institutions, Gender equality

International Development Committee

A hearing is held by Parliament’s International Development Committee (IDC) or their ICAI sub-committee for most ICAI reviews.

The IDC hearing for this review is available to watch online.

ICAI follow-up

Approximately one year after we publish our reports, we follow up on the steps the government has taken in response to our recommendations. This process is a key link in the accountability chain, providing Parliament and the public with an account of how well government departments have responded to ICAI reviews.

Our follow-up to this review found that FCDO has made notable progress in implementing our recommendations. We judge its response to be adequate. FCDO staff are increasingly looking beyond due diligence and compliance, have been supporting the development and application of a number of sexual exploitation and abuse and harassment (SEAH) reporting and community engagement mechanisms, and have been working to improve the functioning of the department’s systems for investigating reported cases of SEAH. Although the department has supported some useful research on SEAH issues, important evidence gaps remain. In addition, the mechanisms for screening humanitarian workers which FCDO has been supporting are yet to show sustained results

Read the follow-up review online or download the summary follow-up report.



Published 2 July 2021

Evidence gathering


Review publication

Published 24 February 2022

Government response

Published 7 April 2022

Parliamentary scrutiny

IDC hearing 28 June 2022

Further scrutiny

Published 18 July 2023