Haitian President Denounces Oxfam Handling Of Sex Scandal

15 February, 2018, 02:13 | Author: Diane Mills
  • Haiti president decries “violation of basic human decency”

The hardening stance follows reports in The Times that young sex workers were hired by Oxfam's senior staff in Haiti after the 2010 natural disaster which devastated the island and left up to 300,000 people dead, and that the UK-based charity tried to cover up the scandal at the time.

Britain's secretary for worldwide development, Penny Mordaunt, said Sunday that the way allegations of sexual misconduct were handled by Oxfam was "shocking" and demonstrated an "absolute absence of leadership".

Speaking in the Swedish capital Stockholm, the minister issued a stern warning to the charity that its Government funding could be at risk over its handling of the allegations.

On Monday the deputy head of Oxfam resigned over what she said was the charity's failure to respond adequately to the allegations of sexual misconduct by some of its staff in Chad as well as in Haiti.

One of the aid workers who admitted using prostitutes while working in Haiti was Oxfam's country director Roland van Hauwermeiren.

Scandal-hit British charity Oxfam was reeling Tuesday after fresh claims of sexual assault and cover-up in South Sudan, as Haiti's president condemned the behaviour of some of its staff in his country as "undignified and dishonest".

"Following concerns raised in this article, the staff member has been put on leave while we examine the issues raised and follow our Code of Behaviour protocol to determine next steps".

Oxfam said that they were "grateful" for the actress and her devotion to the charity in the last few years.

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Oxfam receives around 32 million pounds of British government funding a year.

Policy director at the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations John Downie told The Herald that the "appalling situation" surrounding Oxfam could lead to a fall in donations to worldwide aid organisations and the wider charitable sector in Scotland.

She said: "No organisation is too big, or our work with them too complex, for me to hesitate to remove funding from them if we can not trust them to put the beneficiaries of aid first", she said.

"It gives us more pressure to push for changes that we want to happen in Oxfam to become much better organization", she said.

Ms Mordaunt is expected to say: "The sexual exploitation of vulnerable people, vulnerable children, is never acceptable".

Mordaunt said: "I know people will be anxious about the charity, they'll be anxious about the money, but we need to be guided by what the Charity Commission are doing. these decisions shouldn't be taken hastily, but I am considering them".

But Mr MacLeod believes aid should be redistributed by taking funds away from Oxfam as punishment, and diverting that funding to another charity. And successive British governments, Tory and Labour, are agreed that 0.7 per cent of the nation's GDP should be spent on helping the poorest people in the world.


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