Action Against Hunger strongly condemns any inappropriate conduct of humanitarian aid workers, and have a policy of zero tolerance toward abuse of power, sexual exploitation, and unethical behaviour.
Posted on 12 February 2018
This longstanding commitment is stated in our Charter of Principles. These core principles and institutional commitments are served by specific policies, such as our Code of Conduct and Child Protection policy. These are applicable to all employees, officers, directors, board members, or any person acting on behalf of Action Against Hunger. Robust internal processes exist to educate staff on these policies and to detect potential breaches.
Action Against Hunger has a strict recruitment process which includes tests, interviews, individual references checks, and contact with former employee organisations according to French labour regulation. This procedure was followed prior to the employment of Roland van Hauwermeiren. During this process, Action Against Hunger received no information regarding any inappropriate or unethical behaviour by Roland van Hauwermeiren while he was with Oxfam in Haiti, or any warning on the risks of employing him.
Roland van Hauwermeiren worked for Action Against Hunger as Country Director in Bangladesh between August 2012 and August 2014. He has not worked for us since the end of his assignment in Bangladesh.
According to our records, we have not received any alerts regarding sexual misconduct or abuse during Roland van Hauwermeiren’s assignment with Action Against Hunger. We have now, however, begun a process to closely scrutinise the time he was employed by us, and Action Against Hunger commits to full disclosure, collaborating in full with the authorities.
In addition, we are reviewing our recruitment and safeguarding policies and procedures to ensure they meet the highest possible standards.