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United Kingdom govt to meet Oxfam Monday over Haiti prostitutes probe

11 February 2018, 04:11 | Devin Moran

Oxfam sex scandal: Sacked staff found new aid job in Bangladesh

Oxfam sex scandal Sacked staff found new aid job in Bangladesh

An investigation by The Times newspaper in London alleges Oxfam covered up sexual misconduct by senior aid workers in Haiti the wake of the devastating 2010 quake.

The charity is facing mounting criticism over its handling of allegations of sexual misconduct.

Speaking about the allegations, she said: "I think it's a complete betrayal of both the people Oxfam were there to help and also the people that sent them there to do that job".

The ambassador made the remarks a day after British Prime Minister Theresa May called for a "full and urgent investigation" into the charity, which receives tens of millions of pounds in aid.

The charity said it had publicly announced an investigation into the allegations when they surfaced seven years ago.

The global development secretary has said the government will end funding to Oxfam unless the charity shows "moral leadership" and hands over all its information on its aid workers' apparent use of prostitutes in Haiti.

She added that Oxfam had done "absolutely the wrong thing" by failing to inform authorities about the full details of the allegations. Oxfam's investigation into the sex abuse claims was hampered by a "determination to keep it out of the public eye".

Speaking to Sky News, former minister for global development Andrew Mitchell said the report was one of "utter horror".

Charities, including Oxfam, have been told they will have funding withdrawn if they fail to comply with authorities over safeguarding issues.

Mr Goldring's words come after the Department for International Development said late Friday that the charity had shown a "lack of judgement" in its investigations following the 2010/11 incidents.




"If wrongdoing, abuse, fraud or criminal activity occur we need to know about it immediately, in full. The way this appalling abuse of vulnerable people was dealt with raises serious questions that Oxfam must answer", the Department said in a statement on Saturday.

Estimates vary but around 220,000 people were killed in the Haiti disaster and millions left homeless in a country where more than half of the population live in poverty.

Oxfam workers were accused of paying Haitian quake survivors for sex during relief efforts.

Oxfam suggested that some of those it had disciplined had conspired to produce bogus employment references.

"Oxfam has not and would not provide a positive reference for any of those who were dismissed or resigned as a result of the Haiti case", Oxfam said.

The Charity Commission took no further action but says it would have acted differently had it known all the facts.

Charity chief executive Mark Goldring insisted the UK-based organisation was "ashamed" of what took place on the Caribbean island of Haiti in 2010.

The charity - which employs around 5,000 staff and has 23,000 more volunteers - recorded 87 incidents a year ago, referring 53 to the police or authorities and dismissing 20 staff or volunteers, according to the Sunday Times.

"What I'm apologizing for is that nine Oxfam staff behaved in a way that was totally unacceptable and contrary to our values, and that led much more responsible staff to make decisions which are now seen by some as being marginal or inappropriate", he said.



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