In response to the emergence of serious allegations of child safeguarding incidents in four SOS Children’s Villages Member Associations, the Independent Child Safeguarding Review (ICSR) was commissioned in 2016 by the SOS Children’s Villages International Senate. In 2020, the “Wiersholm Report” was commissioned by eight SOS Children’s Villages Member Associations to assess allegations of child safeguarding as well as misuse of funds and governance failings, including those arising from the Speak Out Loud Platform. Both the final report of the ICSR and the Wiersholm Report were produced in early 2021.
In May 2021, the International Senate decided to establish a global Independent Special Commission (ISC) to examine the alleged failings, including child abuse, corruption, and other breaches of regulations.
Justice Willy Mutunga (chair), Justice Gita Mittal, Mr. Andras Vamos-Goldman and Ms. Mona Ali Khalil were appointed as the ISC members on 1 October 2021 and started their work immediately. The ISC is assisted by a support team including the Coordinator of the Commission, Chief of Investigations and Secretary of the Commission.
The following Terms of Reference describe the ISC’s mandate, objective and guiding principles; its scope of activities and methods of work; as well as its reporting framework.
The ISC is mandated by the International Senate of SOS Children’s Villages to:
The ISC will work independently and with all efficiency to fulfil its mandate as articulated by the International Senate in order to: establish facts; consider the degree to which any abuses, failures and other wrongdoing have been redressed; identify where and what further remedial measures are required, including the possibility of recommending referral of certain allegations to the appropriate national law enforcement authorities and to report and make recommendations within the scope of the ISC’s mandate and objective in a timeframe as responsive as possible to the needs of those affected by the alleged abuses, failures and other wrongdoing.