United Kingdom threatens charity aid cut-off after Oxfam sex report

12 February, 2018, 01:53 | Author: Diane Mills
  • No10 door in Downing Street an Oxfam shop's sign

The Charity Commission said it had written to Oxfam as a matter of urgency to request further information and establish greater clarity.

Ms Mordaunt revealed the charity had "categorically" stated to the Department for International Development (DfID) that no harm was done and beneficiaries were not involved, which she said was a lie.

"If the moral leadership at the top of the organisation isn't there, then we can not have you as a partner".

But the charity said it had publicly announced an investigation into the allegations when they surfaced in 2011.

Global development secretary Penny Mordaunt said it was "despicable" that sexual exploitation and abuse existed in the aid sector and threatened to cut funding to charities if they fail to comply with authorities over safeguarding issues.

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.

In its statement, Oxfam said it had informed its trustees, the government, as well as other major donors such as the European Union, the World Health Organization and other United Nations agencies of the investigation and the outcome.

The director was Roland Van Hauwermeiren, who The Times alleges used prostitutes at a villa rented for him by Oxfam.

More reports of misconduct have emerged since the original report in the Times.

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More than 120 workers for British charities were accused of sexual abuse in the past year alone, sparking fears overseas aid organisations are being are being targeted by paedophiles. While we can't corroborate the information at the moment it highlights again unacceptable behaviour by a small number of people and the need for a sector-wide approach to tackle the problem.

Although the charity has denied covering up the alleged scandal, Christian Aid said the claims are "deplorable".

The charity Oxfam is on the brink of losing all of its government funding.

Oxfam Chief Executive Mark Goldring admitted Saturday that it had failed to detail fully the nature of the 2011 scandal but insisted it "did anything but cover it up".

There had been other incidents since 2011, he said, but "nothing on the scale of this severity".

Oxfam said it now had a dedicated safeguarding team, a confidential whistleblowing hotline and safeguarding contact point within countries, and a code of conduct that stipulated: "I will also not exchange money, offers of employment, employment, goods or services for sex or sexual favours".

He added: 'Everybody - the 25,000 staff and volunteers - are compromised by this, the hundreds of thousands of people who support Oxfam every month are compromised by this, and to everybody I apologise.

She added that Oxfam had done "absolutely the wrong thing" by failing to inform authorities about the full details of the allegations.

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