Unfortunately we have to confirm that there are allegations of abuse at the SOS Children´s Village Idjevan. The allegations were reported to the police proactively by SOS Children´s Villages Armenia following SOS Children´s Villages policy about Child Safeguarding.
When any allegation is received through our reporting mechanisms or whistleblowing channels, we investigate. When a complaint is verified, we act. If an allegation is of a criminal nature, we immediately refer cases to relevant competent authorities. We also inform governments and advise statutory donors according to both their requirements and our internal practices. The protection of the children and young people in our care is central to all that we do, and we do not hesitate to suspend staff right away and then terminate contracts when such terrible cases happen. It is in the best interest of the organisation to clear any suspicion of such kind, since any kind of abuse in the SOS Children´s Villages programs can and will not be tolerated. We are very concerned and want to do everything to find the facts and set consequences accordingly, for this reason we will contribute to the investigation and clearing of the fact as much as we can.
For the moment, the well-being of the alleged victims is our biggest priority. They get special psychological support and will have all the needed support in the future, for this purpose an external expert has been hired additionally to give extra support in this challenging situation.
As for the alleged perpetrator: this person is not working for SOS Children´s Villages anymore and is not in contact with children in any of our programs. We will have to wait for the outcome of the investigation to see if the allegations are true. We are ready to question any process and set necessary consequences to keep harm from the children in our care.
Please understand that we are currently not able to provide you with more detailed information, but have to wait for the outcome of the investigation.