Oxfam promises reforms after Haiti sex scandal

Oxfam promises reforms after Haiti sex scandal

Oxfam promises reforms after Haiti sex scandal

Major worldwide charity Oxfam is in hot water with the British government for having sex parties with Haitian prostitutes following the 2010 natural disaster that rattled the nation, killing 220,000 people.

Oxfam lied and failed in its "moral leadership" in the wake of allegations of sexual misconduct by aid workers, the International Development Secretary has said.

"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.

Oxfam has said it was "dismayed by what happened" and has since set up a hotline for people to report sexual abuse and misconduct.

United Kingdom officials have said that Oxfam needs to hand over all its information on the issue in order to not lose funding.

"I am deeply ashamed about Oxfam's behaviour then", CEO Mark Goldring told ITV News.

She said she would meet the charity on Monday to discuss the case, adding: "If the moral leadership at the top of the organisation is not there then we cannot have you as a partner".

He said that it was very important to remember that "there are thousands of people working for Oxfam in some of the most hard places. and we must not forget that Oxfam is one of Britain's most brilliant charities".

I did my own research and I have to say I had a lot of pushback within my own department.

A DfID spokesman said the way "appalling abuse of vulnerable people" had been dealt with raised serious questions for Oxfam.

The Christian relief agency said in both cases, no laws were broken but "the staff members involved did not live up to the standards and expectations outlined in our code of conduct".

Penny Mordaunt said it was "despicable" that sexual exploitation and abuse still existed in the aid sector.

Ms Mordaunt said Oxfam had done "absolutely the wrong thing" by failing to inform authorities about the full details of the allegations.

The charity added it will soon deliver a "safeguarding training course for faith organisations, especially churches, so they can understand, recognise and respond to safeguarding issues, and develop a safer culture".

But she said: "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, or former or current Oxfam staff that worked with the individual providing a reference in a personal capacity".

The government's hardening stance follows reports in The Times newspaper that young sex workers were hired by Oxfam's senior staff in Haiti after the 2010 quake which devastated the island and left up to 300,000 people dead.

To date, four employees were fired from their posts and another three resigned before the investigation was complete.

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