Disobedient Media previously reported the arrest of “humanitarian” Joel Davis on charges relating to child pornography and an attempt to arrange the rape of two young children. The criminal complaint made against the 22-year-old details horrific conversations between Davis and agents he believed to be fellow child abusers.

One of the unresolved intrigues of Davis’s arrest has centered on his true role at the International Campaign to Stop Rape and Gender Violence in Conflict. Shortly after news of Federal criminal charges against Davis emerged, the campaign published a patently dishonest press release, minimizing his role with the Coalition by falsely claiming that his role was limited to that of a ‘volunteer coordinator.’

However, Disobedient Media reported that two separate pieces of evidence showed that Davis was, in fact, the Director of the Coalition, thereby exposing the press release’s fumbled attempt to re-write their stained history. Now, a third piece of evidence can be added to the pile of information revealing the Coalition’s effort to lie their way out of a strong association with an alleged pedophile. As of April this year, TEDx, described Davis: “Joel Davis is the Director of the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict.”

The Coalition describes itself as: “The first ever global collaboration between Nobel Laureates, NGOs, and Humanitarian experts to end sexual violence in conflict… With over 5,000 members, we are the first ever global collaboration between Nobel Peace Laureates, international advocacy organizations, and groups working at the regional and community levels in conflict.”

Disobedient Media previously noted that Joel Davis referred to himself as the Director of the entire 5,000-strong Coalition in his TEDx lecture delivered at Columbia University. This writer also noted the archived record of the campaign’s Twitter account describing him specifically as the Director, corroborating Davis’s statement during his TEDx talk. Video of the lecture was promptly deleted by TEDx, but not before being preserved by Disobedient Media and others.

It’s also been noted that Davis is in fact a two-time college drop-out who founded his own advocacy group, Youth To End Sexual Violence, whose 501c status was revoked by the IRS last year.

The Coalition’s response shows all the hallmarks of the humanitarian aid community’s ongoing inability to reckon with despicable corruption within its ranks. Is this oversight ultimately due to an inexcusable incompetence on the part of the Coalition to vet its Director, or is there another reason that Joel Davis might have been placed in such a prestigious role despite his own charity being defunct, and without obtaining a college degree?

Lori Handrahan, a respected and experienced humanitarian aid worker, addressed this problem when she wrote of Davis:

It is plausible that the sexual abuse of children is what provided Davis, a teenager — with no education, experience, or qualifications of any kind — a rocket to the top of the humanitarian world.”

The unwillingness of the Coalition to face accountability in light of Davis’s leading role – to the point of attempting and failing to alter the historical record on the matter –  is appalling. It is repulsively reminiscent of the Catholic church’s response to child abuse by priests: Over decades, this entailed saving institutional face by protecting perpetrators, denying the testimony of victims, and covering up histories of ongoing abuse.

If a similar reluctance to address outrageous treatment of those they claim to aid continues in the humanitarian field, we can expect NGO’s to willingly desecrate the lives of hundreds if not thousands of children over the coming years by protecting perpetrators at the expense of victims. The only way to prevent history repeating itself will be through the glare of consistent public outrage, and demands that aid groups make necessary systemic change to prevent future abuse.

As Handrahan asks: where are the statements of outrage and accountability from the Nobel Laureates, humanitarians and respected NGO’s who made up the Coalition of 5,000 who “unanimously” elected a defunct charity run by a college dropout to lead them? The following statement captured on the coalition’s self-described history has promptly disappeared from their site:


As previously noted, the Coalition’s Steering Committee includes highly respected organizations, such as: Human Rights Watch, Physicians for Human Rights, the Dr. Denis Mukwege Foundation, the Nobel Women’s Initiative, the Global Fund for Women, Youth to End Sexual Violence, The Italian Mine Campaign, Promundo, Every Woman Everywhere, Sofepadi, and Change Center for Health and Gender Equity.

Readers are encouraged to contact these groups in regards to Davis’s arrest.

Co-Founder and Editor in Chief at Disobedient Media.