The U.K. Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into trans youth charity Mermaids

0
194
trans ally hand flag stamp
Image: Juan Moyano/Alamy

 

The U.K. Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into trans charity Mermaids

 

The Charity Commission opened a regulatory compliance case into the trans youth charity back in September, following safeguarding allegations and a report in the Telegraph about the organisation allegedly supplying chest-binding devices to teenagers.

A formal inquiry has now been launched, citing “newly identified issues” with Mermaids’ governance and management, the Commission says.

Image: Ted Eytan

Mermaids has been under intense scrutiny since the organisation, with the support of numerous LGBTQ+ groups, including LGBT+ Consortium, Gendered Intelligence, LGBT Foundation and TransActual, set out to challenge the charity status of ‘trans-exclusionary’ group LGB Alliance.

 

Subsequently, Mermaids also faced intense public probing into several aspects of the charity’s internal procedures, which resulted in that charity carrying out a “frank and honest appraisal of our internal culture” and admitting it “must do better” in regards some areas.

 

Mermaids has also been subjected to intense criticism online, along with trolling from various anti-trans groups, resulting in the suspension of some of its services in order to protect the safety of staff and volunteers.

Mermaids’ former CEO, Susie Green, stepped down from her role on 25 November.

 

In a statement, Mermaids said:

“As part of this process, we commissioned an independent external report which highlighted a number of significant challenges for us,” per the Mermaids website.

 

“We know we must do better and we are absolutely committed to doing so, and will be implementing the report’s recommendations as a priority.

 

Adding that: “The charity has an unwavering commitment to safeguarding which is, and always will be, our top priority.”

 

Mermaids said they will cooperate fully with the Charity Commission and its inquiry.

 

Mermaids is the country’s leading charity in services offering support around gender and identity to children and young people up to 25 years of age.

 

 

 

Stonewall co-founder and LGBTQ+ activist Lord Michael Cashman responded to the announcement of an investigation, calling it, “a well funded, concerted attack on organisations that supports trans-people”, before warning that “The attacks will then go on against LGBQI people”.

 

 

Per the GovUK website, the inquiry will focus on three areas of Mermaids, its work and how the charity is run.

This includes investigating potential misconduct or mismanagement, whether the trustees have fulfilled their duties under charity law and into the administration, governance and management of the charity.

 

The inquiry opened on November 28 and a report will be published once it is concluded.