Monday, 24 September, 2018

Oxfam sex abuse scandal deepens

The charity’s chief executive will meet the International Development Secretary after a warning aid funding could be cut off The charity’s chief executive will meet the International Development Secretary after a warning aid funding could be cut off
| 12 February, 2018, 01:57

The International Development Secretary will meet Oxfam bosses for showdown talks Monday after accusing the beleaguered charity of lying and failing in its "moral leadership" over the Haiti sex scandal.

All of these would be followed up, she told the BBC's Andrew Marr. The charity confirmed it had dismissed four people and allowed three others to resign in the case after an investigation uncovered offences including sexual misconduct, bullying, intimidation and failure to protect staff.

Some Oxfam workers, including its most senior mission director, have been accused of paying survivors for sex while there.

She admitted she was considering whether the organisation should receive any more funding from the Department for International Development - which gave it £32m in the last financial year.

Oxfam said it investigated the allegations in 2011.

"With regard to Oxfam and any other organisation that has safeguarding issues, we expect them to cooperate fully with such authorities, and we will cease to fund any organisation that does not", she said.

He added: "If we can be part of helping with references or cross-checking then we'll play an active part in that because I've seen the incredible work that Oxfam is doing in the Congo, Syria, in Bangladesh, Yemen, in places other people simply won't go".

Penny Mordaunt
Image International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt has warned Oxfam could lose aid funds

Meanwhile, Oxfam is facing further allegations, reported in the Observer, that its staff used prostitutes in Chad in 2006.

The Chad mission was led by Roland van Hauwermeiren, who resigned in 2011 after he admitted prostitutes had visited his villa in Haiti during the humanitarian mission to the country after the 2010 quake.

Oxfam said it had already taken measures to prevent sexual abuse and misconduct, including the launch of a hotline to report allegations.

It promised to release the results of its investigation "publicly and transparently".
On Saturday, Britain's charity commission said it had written to Oxfam "as a matter of urgency to request further information regarding the events in Haiti in 2011".

She added she was writing to all United Kingdom charities which receive United Kingdom aid asking them to spell out the steps they are taking to ensure safeguarding policies are in place and working properly.

Oxfam has denied any cover-up.


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