April 19, 2018 / 7:44 PM / a year ago

Save the Children chairman quits, says urgent need to rebuild trust

LONDON, April 19 (Reuters) - The chairman of the British charity Save the Children resigned on Thursday, eight months before the end of his term, after the non-profit world was rocked by allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment.

Alan Parker, the founder of communications group Brunswick, said in a letter to colleagues that he had resigned from the boards of Save the Children Association and Save the Children International because he believed that a change was now needed.

Save the Children UK apologised in February for inappropriate behaviour by its former chief executive, Justin Forsyth.

“In the current environment, there is an urgent and pressing need to rebuild trust and confidence,” Parker said. “If we do not, some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable children will suffer.

“This is an extraordinary time for the sector. With major ongoing conflicts and more displaced children than at any time in history, it is clear that children around the world need the full power of organisations like ours.”

Save the Children said in February that concerns were raised about inappropriate comments and behaviour by Forsyth in 2011 and 2015. It said reviews in both cases had resulted in “unreserved apologies” to the women involved.

Forsyth resigned days later as the deputy director of UNICEF, the United Nations children’s agency, saying he did not want coverage of past mistakes he had made to damage the organisation or other aid bodies.

“I apologised unreservedly at the time and face to face. I apologise again,” he said at the time.

Reporting by Kate Holton

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