Vienna (dpa) - According to the organization, children and young people cared for by SOS Children's Villages have been victims of violence and sexual abuse in twenty countries.
There were 22 investigated cases in 50 facilities between the 1990s and the recent past, said SOS Children's Village spokesman Boris Breyer in Munich.
According to the Austrian sub-organization of SOS Children's Villages, care facilities in Africa and Asia are affected.
The number of victims seems to be rather small, it said.
In a statement, the international umbrella organization did not provide any details on the number of victims, the countries affected and the attacks.
However, she spoke not only of abuse, but also of corruption, misappropriated funds and other rule violations.
"On behalf of the association, I apologize to the children and young people who have been harmed," said Ingrid Maria Johansen, chairwoman of the umbrella organization SOS Children's Villages International.
An independent commission will investigate how the incidents came about. In addition, a support fund for victims will be set up. A preliminary report was presented to the management body of the organization at the end of April. "The present investigation report suggests that reports of abuse were not taken seriously enough, children and witnesses were not believed and perpetrators were not brought to justice," said Breyer. The spokesman did not rule out personal consequences and announced even stronger control mechanisms.
SOS Children's Villages primarily helps children whose parents cannot care for them because of poverty or domestic violence.
The organization is home to 65,000 children in 137 countries and supports a further 347,000 people with social programs.
According to the latest annual report, income from donations and government aid amounted to 1.4 billion euros in 2019.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210506-99-495676 / 2
Declaration by SOS Children's Villages