Sexual abuse and violence at SOS Childrens Villages

Children and young people taken care of by the global organisation SOS Childrens Villages have been victims of violence and sexual abuse in 20 countries. Research has been carried out into 22 cases in 50 institutions between the 1990s and the recent past, as a German branch spokesman in Munich announced.

According to the Austrian branch, they are healthcare facilities in Africa and Asia. The number of victims would be quite small.

The international umbrella organisation did not give details of the number of victims, the countries affected and the nature of the violence and abuse. There will be an independent investigation and a support fund for the victims. Other abuses have also been discovered, such as corruption and embezzlement. The chairman of SOS Childrens Villages International, Ingrid Maria Johansen, apologized to โ€œthe children and young people who have suffered harm.โ€

โ€œ Complaints not taken seriouslyโ€

According to the German spokesman, reports of abuse were not taken seriously enough, children and witnesses were not believed and perpetrators were not brought to justice.

SOS Childrens Villages especially helps children who cannot be cared for by parents because of poverty or domestic violence. The organisation accommodates 65,000 children in 137 countries and supports a further 347,000 people with social programmes. According to the latest annual report, revenue from donations and government support amounted to 1.4 billion euros in 2019.