NBC News Cast on Child Abuse

Internal Use only 

HR Advisory Notice 01

Date: Feb 27, 2019

Subject: NBC newscast on child abuse in missions 

Distribution: SIL Area HR leaders: Please forward to AD’s  and Unit leaders and Unit HR leaders


Major media outlets have recently released reports about child abuse within mission/ministry organisations in various parts of the world, including the Philippines, Senegal, and in the USA. Although none of the abuse being discussed in these reports is connected with SIL, or the Wycliffe Global Alliance, we in HR Global leadership would like to clearly express our grief over the alleged abuse and communicate our commitment to a healthy and safe workplace within SIL. In relation to MK’s who were involved in past child abuse investigations in SIL, these are being monitored and we have notified our lawyer where necessary. 


We also want to clearly affirm SIL’s commitment to our children. We take seriously our responsibility to protect children, creating a safe and positive environment for them to grow and thrive. We believe it is never acceptable for any child to experience abuse of any kind. Their protection is the responsibility of every adult within our organization. We expect staff to conduct themselves with utmost integrity and professionalism at all times.  Working together we can create a safe, positive, and nurturing environment for children—protecting them to the highest standards possible. Supportive nurture is always to be guided by Biblical standards of morality, ethics, and prudence. 

SIL has a zero tolerance policy towards child abuse. Our rigorous goal is the prevention of mistreatment and abuse in the first place, along with ensuring the ongoing safety and health of our children. SIL has a proactive process of screening workers and follows precautionary work rules. All those interested in serving children or youth in the SIL community must fulfill all SIL screening requirements (including criminal background checks, interviews, references, etc.). All SIL staff assigned to work with minors are required to annually take a SIL Child Safeguarding Course. All SIL staff, no matter their role, are required to attend mandatory initial Child Safeguarding training and then regular training related to Child Safeguarding policies.  Anyone who has ever been convicted of child abuse in the past (or where allegations and a “preponderance of evidence” has been found) may not serve with SIL.

Actions requested of HR or SIL leaders:

Please be ready to answer questions from SIL staff about SIL’s response to the newscast and to the following online media conversations. This response is currently focussed internally, as we have not been asked for a statement. However, should that be asked for, we are ready to respond, openly and with humility via the corporate communications team.

If you have any concerns please take them to your Area HR leader.

Please ensure the staff in your Unit are up to date with their Child Safeguarding training as this could come under media scrutiny. There are MANY staff who need to do the training. They can check their compliance on Insite. Email cstraining_mgr@sil.org for further information and for signposting staff who have not accessed the training via face-to-face training or are not able to do so via the Insite link. 

Keith Robinson



TV article link https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/investigations/article/Southern-Baptist-sexual-abuse-spreads-as-leaders-13588038.php

Newspaper articles

Part 1 earlier this week: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/investigations/article/Southern-Baptist-sexual-abuse-spreads-as-leaders-13588038.php

Here is a link to Part 2: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/investigations/article/Southern-Baptist-churches-hired-ministers-accused-13588233.php

Here is a link to Part 3: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/investigations/article/All-too-often-Southern-Baptist-youth-pastors-13588292.php

Document history 

Feb 27th Released

Feb 27th Links added at request of users