UK reviews Oxfam ties after sex abuse scandal in Haiti

12 February, 2018, 01:56 | Author: Bert Pena
  • UK reviews Oxfam ties after sex abuse scandal in Haiti

MORE than 120 workers for Britain's leading charities were accused of sexual abuse in 2017 alone, it was revealed last night.

A lot of people knew about this, she told Sky News, naming the Charity Commission and DFID (Department for International Development).

Britain will cut off aid funding from any organisation that does not comply with a new review into charities' work overseas, aid minister Penny Mordaunt said on Sunday, describing reports of sexual exploitation in the sector as a "scandal".

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.

Penny Mordaunt said the charity had lied to the department at the time of the staff members' dismissal by telling them no aid beneficiaries were involved in the misconduct.

Ms Mordaunt will meet senior staff at Oxfam today and the Charity Commission has written to them, as a "matter of urgency", requesting further information.

"Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do to stop individuals falsifying references, getting others that were dismissed to act as referees and claiming it was a reference from Oxfam", a spokeswoman added.

Oxfam said it had not found evidence to back one of the Times' most explosive claims: that underage girls were involved.

The British Red Cross says it received a small number of harassment reports involving language or behaviour and that all the cases involved actions in the U.K. It said "even a small number of incidents is too many".

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Oxfam has been at the centre of a firestorm of controversy after it was revealed that Oxfam staff had paid for sex whilst working in Haiti.

"With hindsight, I would much prefer that we had talked about (the) sexual misconduct", Goldring told BBC radio.

It said Oxfam's leaders had "showed a lack of judgement" in their handling of the matter and their level of openness with the government and Charity Commission. "If the moral leadership at the top of the organisation isn't there, we can not have you as a partner", she said.

Oxfam chief executive Mark Goldring apologised on Saturday, saying he was deeply ashamed of Oxfam's behaviour.

Ms Mordaunt announced she would meet the charity on Monday to discuss the case, and said: "If the moral leadership at the top of the organisation is not there then we cannot have you as a partner". Asked if that was a lie, Mordaunt said: "Well, quite".

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".

Ms Mordaunt replied: 'Well, quite'.

"If they do not hand over all the information that they have from their investigation. then I can not work with them any more as an aid delivery partner - and any other organisation in those circumstances", she told the BBC.

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