Six cases of child sex abuse found at Plan International; Dutch branch takes measures

(Photo: Ranveig/Dodo / Wikimedia Commons)(Photo: Ranveig/Dodo / Wikimedia Commons)

At least six cases of sexual abuse with child victims were found at Plan International. No Dutch people were involved in the abuse, but the Netherlands branch of the children's charity is taking extra measures to prevent it from happening, RTL Nieuws reports.

After reports of sexual misconduct by employees of charities Oxfam International and Doctors Without Borders, Plan International decided to launch its own investigation. Between the summer of 2016 and the summer of last year, six children were sexually abused by people connected to the charity, formerly called Foster Parents Plan.

In an online statement, the aid organization said that help was provided to all victims and their families. "They have been brought into contact with organizations that offer specialist care in areas such as the medical and psychological fields."

"An employee and five external parties, such as volunteers and employees of partner organizations, were involved", general manager of the Dutch branch, Monique van 't Hek said to RTL. "These six people were immediately dismissed. Five of the six committed a criminal offense, charges were pressed against them."

Plan Nederland was informed about the abuse cases by head office on Wednesday. "We find it terrible for all victims", the organization responded. "We will learn from what happened and strengthen our policy and controls even more. We are determined to eliminate all behavior that could lead to abuse", Van 't Hek said. 

Plan International also found nine other cases of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior by employees in this same period. These cases all involved only adults and no Dutch aid workers were involved here either, according to Plan Nederland. Seven employees were dismissed and two others were given a warning for "inappropriate language use".