Press release

New Charity Investigation: Human Appeal

Charity regulator opens inquiry into Human Appeal


The Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, has opened a statutory inquiry into Human Appeal (registered charity number 1154288). The investigation was opened on 18 April 2018. The charity’s objects relate to the prevention or relief of poverty anywhere in the world through activities including providing grants, education, healthcare and medical aid to those in need.

The charity submitted a serious incident report, in accordance with best practice, to the Commission in December 2017. Since then, the Commission has met with the trustees on a number of occasions and has been provided with independent reports commissioned by the charity. These raise serious concerns about the administration of the charity, including failures to account for the charity’s funds and operate within the charity’s policies and procedures.

An inquiry has now been opened to further investigate the Commission’s concerns. The inquiry will examine the following issues:

  • whether or not the trustees have complied with and fulfilled their duties and responsibilities as trustees under charity law
  • the trustees’ management of relationships and work with other individuals, including donors and organisations and their due diligence leading up to and during such relationships
  • the systems and processes in place to ensure that the trustees are informed of matters at the charity and their decision-making
  • the financial controls and management of the charity’s funds and accounting procedures

The Commission stresses that opening an inquiry is not in itself a finding of wrongdoing. The purpose of an inquiry is to examine issues in detail, investigate and establish the facts so that the regulator can ascertain whether there has been mismanagement and/or misconduct; establish the extent of any risk to the charity’s property, beneficiaries or work and decide what action needs to be taken to resolve the serious concerns, if necessary using its investigative, protective and remedial powers to do so.

It is the Commission’s policy, after it has concluded an inquiry, to publish a report detailing what issues the inquiry looked at, what actions were undertaken as part of the inquiry and what the outcomes were. Reports of previous inquiries by the Commission are available on GOV.UK.

The charity’s details can be viewed on the Commission’s online charity search tool.


Notes to editors

  1. The Charity Commission is the regulator of charities in England and Wales. To find out more about our work see the about us page on GOV.UK.
  2. Search for charities on our check charity tool.
  3. Section 46 of the Charities Act 2011 gives the commission the power to institute inquiries. The opening of an inquiry gives the commission access to a range of investigative, protective and remedial legal powers.

Press office

Published 22 May 2018