Oxfam hit by new misconduct claims

Wednesday, 21 Feb, 2018

The scandal of the sexual misconduct of some workers in Haiti, exposed by The Times this month, was a warning against complacency to the entire aid sector, he added. "They range in time frame from more recent events to long historic events where people did not report them at the time", Mr Goldring said.

Both are now reviewing that funding. Oxfam has already agreed not to bid for further funding from DFiD while the allegations are investigated.

"I am ashamed", she said.

"We have asked for assurances from all our charitable partners regarding their safeguarding and reporting practices by 26 February, including Oxfam".

When pressed on the ages of the women involved, Goldring said Oxfam's own investigations found no women were under 18, the legal age of consent in Haiti.

Goldring, who joined NGO in 2013, has rejected allegations of cover-up of scandal.

Main image: Mark Goldring, Chief Executive of Oxfam GB.

In the report, the charity said director of operations in Haiti, Roland Van Hauwermeiren, "admitted using prostitutes" at his Oxfam residence.

He, and two other senior executives, faced an uncomfortable morning of questions from MPs about the sexual misconduct of Oxfam workers in Haiti after the natural disaster in 2010. This is an urgent session convened by Committee on International Development, following information published by Times.

Mr Goldring told a committee that Oxfam had got it wrong when it failed to detail the sexual exploitation in a public statement about the findings of its investigation, which mentioned bullying, intimidation and breaches of the code of conduct.

Oxfam Hong Kong has lost 715 local donors in the past 11 days who collectively gave the organisation more than HK$1.1 million a year, as a prostitution scandal involving seven staff members continues to rock the charity's British arm. "This is a real problem, it is systemic, it's a large-scale problem and we have to fix it", he said.

Oxfam executives "betrayed the public" and may have deliberately misled charity regulators and the authorities, the International Development Secretary has said.

"The use of prostitutes in conditions of poverty and helplessness and conflict, is exploitation, it is abuse, and it's intolerable in our organisation", she told the committee. "I don't defend that decision", he said. He denied this in a statement he released last week, saying that he had an affair with a Haitian woman whose family received aid from the group, but that no money had changed hands. These are pretty vulnerable women and girls, looking for Oxfam to get them through this awful situation.

People walk past an Oxfam sign in Corail, a camp for people displaced by the 2010 quake, on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Feb. 16, 2018. It would go on all night. "The security guards, the drivers were talking about it not directly - indirectly - because if they talked to anyone about it they would lose their jobs".

National officer for the not-for-profit sector Siobhan Endean said: "Oxfam staff are dedicated to delivering aid to some of the poorest people in the world and the vast majority are entirely innocent of any wrongdoing".