Abuse in SOS Children's Villages: Apparently incidents in 20 countries
Photo: Julian Stratenschulte / dpa
"Giving children a safe home - that is our job," says the SOS Children's Villages website.
However, in several countries, that is precisely what is not said to have been the case: According to the organization, children and young people cared for in SOS Children's Villages in several countries in Africa and Asia have been victims of violence and sexual abuse.
Investigations that have been running for three years have revealed incidents in twenty countries, the Austrian sub-organization announced.
In a statement, the international umbrella organization did not provide any details on the number of victims, the countries affected and the attacks.
However, she spoke not only of abuse, but also of corruption, misappropriated funds and other rule violations.
"On behalf of the association, I apologize to the children and young people who have been harmed," said Ingrid Maria Johansen, chairwoman of the umbrella organization SOS Children's Villages International.
Independent commission to investigate incidents
An independent commission will investigate how the incidents came about.
In addition, a support fund for victims will be set up.
It is already clear that international and national representatives from SOS Children's Villages have not listened to the children and employees affected, said Johansen.
Above all, SOS Children's Villages wants to help children whose parents cannot care for them because of poverty or domestic violence.
According to its own statements, the organization accommodates 65,000 children in 137 countries and supports a further 347,000 people with social programs.
ptz / dpa