The charity organization SOS Children‘s Villages has been compromised by an abuse scandal. An internal investigation has resulted in children being victims of violence and sexual abuse in 20 countries.
In total 22 cases have been investigated from the nineties until now, spokesperson Boris Breyer announced in Munich. They were supposed to be Children’s Villages in Asia and Africa, but the organisation has not disclosed any more details about them.
The investigation also showed that there was corruption, misappropriation of funds and other violations of the rules.
The chairman of SOS Children‘s Villages International has apologized. “On behalf of the organization, I apologize to the children and young people who have been damaged.”
An independent committee is now going to investigate the cases of abuse further. A fund for the victims is also being set up.
According to SOS Children’s Villages, the research report shows that reports of past abuse have not been taken seriously, “children and witnesses were not believed and perpetrators were not held accountable”.
SOS Kinderdorpen is an international aid organization that mainly helps children whose parents cannot do so because of poverty or family violence. In 137 countries, 65,000 children are treated in this way, while 347,000 people are supported by social programmes. There is a lot of money in the organisation, in 2019 it was 1.4 billion euros.