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Funders unite against abuse in development R&D

The UK’s largest funders of research for international development have committed to tougher action against abuse by people involved in their research programmes, following a slew of allegations in the aid sector.

UK Research and Innovation, the Department for International Development, the Wellcome Trust and others signed a joint statement of commitment on 18 October, setting out a “zero-tolerance approach” to sexual harassment and other kinds of abuse. This covers researchers, volunteers and participants in studies.

The move follows a scandal earlier this year when the charity Oxfam was accused of covering up the hiring of sex workers by staff working in Haiti after an earthquake in 2010. The scandal led to a range of allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse in the aid sector.

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