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Scottish Catholic aid charity confirms it dealt with two child abuse cases

An aid convoy (Getty Images)

A Scottish Catholic aid charity has said it has dealt with two cases of alleged sexual abuse of children.

The Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (Sciaf) said it dealt with the issues “decisively” and reassured supporters it had strong safeguarding procedures.

One case involved the alleged rape of a 15-year-old girl by a Burundian man who had volunteered for a local partner organisation. The other involved an Ethiopian man who was a junior staff member at the time. He is accused of sexually assaulting a boy aged under 16.

Sciaf said that neither of the alleged victims were being helped by the charity at the time.

Alistair Dutton, the charity’s director, said: “Sciaf is doing everything we can to minimise the risk of these events and to deal with them appropriately.

“We commissioned a well-known and respected safeguarding expert in the sector to conduct an external evaluation for us. He reviewed all our child protection policies including these two cases and commended us for our policies but also the way we dealt with the cases.

“Sciaf helps about a quarter of a million people directly every year, that makes a massive difference for some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world.

“In over 50 years we have had two cases reported to us relating to sexual misconduct and both were dealt with decisively.”

The admission comes amid an ongoing scandal in the UK aid sector, which has seen aid staff accused of sexually exploiting the victims of disasters.

Mr Dutton added: “I want to reassure all our supporters that you can trust us, that we do have policies and procedures in place and that we do deal decisively with any hint of a safeguarding issue. I won’t tolerate that in any part of our operation.”