At WaterAid we are committed to the safeguarding and wellbeing of all individuals, including the people in communities in which we work, staff, volunteers, contractors, and partners. Any form of abuse is not tolerated.

Our commitment to safeguarding

We have zero tolerance for the abuse of power, privilege or trust, or any form of inappropriate behaviour, discrimination, abuse, harassment, or exploitation of any kind.

Watch: Safeguarding at WaterAid

Our expectations

Working on behalf of WaterAid often means holding a position of trust; all those representing WaterAid are expected to be aware of the responsibility that comes with this trust, and never misuse it.

All representatives of WaterAid – including staff, volunteers, external contractors and partners – are required to commit to our Global Code of Conduct, which sets out our high standards of expected behaviour, and details what will happen if these standards are not met.

Maintaining a positive safeguarding culture

Our Global Safeguarding Team works collaboratively across the organisation to develop understanding and awareness, embed good practice, and ensure safeguarding is prioritised in all aspects of our work.

Report a concern

All reports are strictly confidential, and you can always choose to remain anonymous.

Report to the Global Safeguarding Team

Email: [email protected]
Phone: +44 (0)207 793 4468

Report to an external independent service

You can also report your concerns to our independent whistleblowing service, Safecall.

Freephone in the UK: 0800 915 1571
From outside the UK: find the free Safecall number for your country

Report to Safecall online

How we respond to safeguarding concerns

We apply a do no harm principle when responding to every concern. We are committed to a survivor-centred response, and take a zero-tolerance approach to inaction.

We ensure confidentiality is maintained, and that anyone raising concerns in good faith is protected from any form of victimisation or detrimental treatment.

When any report is made, we follow a four-step procedure:

The Global Safeguarding Team will review the report and discuss next steps with the reporter and injured party/survivor (if identified). Regardless of whether a safeguarding investigation takes place, support will always be offered.

If an investigation takes place, it is survivor-centred, with a duty of care to all parties involved. Depending on the nature of the case, we may be required to report to the Charity Commission, make a referral to statutory authorities, and/or inform relevant donors.

Confidentiality is always of the utmost importance, and information will only be shared on a need to know basis.

We will provide progress updates to all parties involved, including the injured party/survivor. A final decision is made about the outcome of the investigation and any disciplinary action. We are committed to providing continued support and ensuring the ongoing safety and welfare of all involved.

All our safeguarding cases and outcomes are recorded publicly in our annual reports. This is headline data and does not delve into each case, to protect the confidentiality of all involved. We are committed to learning from safeguarding cases and adapting our policies and procedures accordingly.

Strengthening safeguarding across the sector

We are committed to working in partnership with other safeguarding professionals and organisations to raise standards across the international sector. Where a WaterAid staff member has been dismissed for sexual harassment, abuse, or a safeguarding related concern, we will share the reason for their dismissal on any future reference requests.

WaterAid UK is part of the sector working group run by the INGO network Bond, providing expertise around recruitment, partnerships and community awareness.

Contact us

Global Head of Safeguarding: Leigh Heale

Email: [email protected]
Telephone: +44 (0) 207 793 4947

Or email another member of the team on [email protected]

Main image: WaterAid Bangladesh works closely with partner organisation Rupantor to hold regular training and awareness-raising sessions with members of the Munda community in Kaliganj, Satkhira.