More focus needed on the security of aid workers in the developing world, says Lord West

01 August 2014

On June 16th, leading experts in international development and security came together on the HQS Wellington to discuss Duty of Care and Security as some of the key challenges facing businesses operating in the development sector.

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Lord West of Spithead

Addressing delegates from organisations delivering aid to the developing world, Lord West of Spithead, former Minister for Security and Counter-Terrorism, emphasised the importance of foreign aid and the benefits of recent increases in aid sent from the UK. He suggested that more focus should be placed on the security of workers in high-risk environments, reminding attendees that even organisations doing important, charitable work can be subject to threats and hostile situations.

“Supplying aid is one way to stop problems emerging in these areas,” he said. “That is why the work done by aid organisations is so important, and we need to get this right. There is no doubt that some of the people operating in these countries are still working on the principle that they are doing good work and so nothing bad could happen to them. That is not the reality of things, and we absolutely have to make sure these people are looked after in order to continue their very important work.”

Organised by Spearfish, a security company that looks after businesses in challenging environments, the conference attracted a range of companies, NGOs and charities working in emerging markets across the globe. Aside from Lord West, speakers included the Rt Hon Andrew Mitchell MP, former International Development Secretary, and Judith Tebbutt.

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Spearfish advise on physical security risks to their clients