The Charity Commission has urged charities to vet potential trustees with the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) before making any appointments where children might be put at risk.
The warning follows figures that revealed growing numbers of convicted sex offenders are being appointed as charity trustees, bringing them into contact with vulnerable people,
The watchdog said it removed or suspended 30 such trustees last year, three times as many as the year before. The people involved included rapists and paedophiles, reports the Times.
In its report, Charities Back on Track 2008-09, the commission said: “We remain concerned that the way charities manage procedures for safeguarding vulnerable beneficiaries continues to be a key issue.
“Cases included concerns where individuals on the sex offenders register were proposed, or acting, as trustees.
“We found cases where checks on the suitability of trustees were not in place, or were insufficiently rigorous, as well as allegations of child abuse in an overseas orphanage run by a local partner charity.”