Integrity & compliance

Corruption prevention at SOS Children’s Villages

At SOS Children’s Villages, transparency and accountability underline everything we do. We are committed to using all of our funds and resources wisely, ensuring they are being appropriately utilised and accounted for.

Our core values are an essential foundation of the Code of Conduct, which we require all co-workers to sign and acknowledge. The Code aims to uphold and promote the highest standards of ethical and professional conduct among all co-workers.

In encouraging a culture of value-based integrity in the federation, we fight against non-compliance, in particular in the area of preventing corruption. This is carried through all levels of our federation and is specifically promoted and supported by our Integrity, Compliance and Legal unit at the General Secretariat. The unit has direct and unfettered access to our International Senate to ensure independence and empowerment.

Unfortunately, corruption can be found in all areas of life and in every country across the globe. As SOS Children’s Villages operates in over 130 countries and territories worldwide, we recognise that such behaviour can occur, even under the best control systems. To minimise the risk of corruption, SOS Children’s Villages follows a comprehensive preventative compliance approach.

Our compliance measures encompass internal frameworks, including guidelines, processes, roles and tools to aide co-workers in their efforts to identify and fight corruption. Targeted communication campaigns and trainings support our co-workers to identify and safely report potential corruption.

Since 2010, the Anti-Fraud and Anti-Corruption Guideline has outlined our approach to preventing and handling potential incidents of corruption within the federation. The Guideline provides examples of different forms of corruption, lays out the responsibilities of co-workers, management, and board members, and outlines steps to be taken for reporting, investigating and responding to suspicions of corrupt conduct. Additionally, the Good Management and Accountability Quality Standards (specifically Standard 2: Fighting Fraud and Corruption) further support our member associations with clear positions on the three pillars of countering corruption: prevention, detection, and response.

Co-workers, management and board members generally have a duty to report suspected corrupt conduct and are actively encouraged to do so as outlined in our Code of Conduct. For this purpose, we support several reporting channels, including anonymous ones.

We are committed to protecting whistleblowers who report in good faith. We also respect the wish to remain anonymous, so they can report and not disclose their identity.

All allegations, regardless of reporting channel, whistleblower identity, or alleged corrupt activity are subject to equal standards, consistently applied processes, and proper investigations. Information is provided to relevant stakeholders, including the person who originally raised the issue. At SOS Children’s Villages, we always respond to identified corruption. This includes reasonable legal and other steps to recover lost funds and property, thus maximising impact for our programmes.

If you would like to report suspected corrupt conduct involving SOS Children’s Villages, you can use our online whistleblowing channel:

If you are employed by SOS Children’s Villages, we encourage you to consider alternative reporting options as outlined in our internal Situation & Solution Paper.

To confirm our commitment of transparency and accountability, in 2016 we published our first internal Annual Corruption Case Report, outlining statistics concerning reported corruption cases within the SOS Children’s Villages federation over the past 12 months. External versions of our Annual Corruption Case Reports will be available soon.

As a signatory member of Accountable Now, and as a member of Transparency International’s Austrian Chapter, we promise to work tirelessly in the fight against corruption, with the aim of maintaining a culture of integrity and compliance throughout the SOS Children’s Villages federation and the communities we support worldwide.

Report a suspicion of corrupt conduct:

If you are employed by SOS Children’s Villages, we encourage you to consider alternative reporting options as outlined in our internal Situation & Solution Paper.