Theresa May orders probe of alleged orgies at charity

Elias Hubbard
February 11, 2018

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

According to the paper, the report also found that "children may have been among those sexually exploited by aid workers", and that there had been a "culture of impunity" among some staff in Haiti.

Christopher rang in to discuss the allegations that Oxfam staff had procured the services of prostitutes in Haiti.

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

"If wrongdoing, abuse, fraud or criminal activity occur, we need to know about it immediately, in full", the British agency said.

DfID said Oxfam had "serious questions" to answer following the revelations.

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".

Charities doing overseas aid work will lose funding if they fail to cooperate over safeguarding issues, warned the worldwide development secretary.

Oxfam's own policy prohibits "sexually abusive or exploitative acts being perpetrated" by employees, including paying for sex.

Three men were allowed to resign and four others were fired for gross misconduct following an internal probe in 2011 into sexual exploitation, bullying and intimidation.

But Christopher said that whilst the allegation was concerning, he had noted a worrying trend amongst charities over the last few years.

Oxfam said it was "dismayed by what happened" and would fully cooperate with authorities.

Back in 2011, Oxfam, like many other global aid bodies, was engaged in providing emergency support to Haiti which the previous year was hit by the devastating natural disaster.

Oxfam issued a statement in response to the second report, saying it believed "anyone engaged in such reprehensible behavior should be barred from working with vulnerable communities".

In a statement, Oxfam denied providing positive references for those implicated, and said they were likely provided on an individual capacity.

She condemned the "horrific behaviour" of some Oxfam staff and said it was "utterly despicable" that allegations of abuse persisted in the aid sector.

On Friday, Oxfam said it received legal advice in Haiti that given the nature of the allegations and the turmoil the country was experiencing after the quake, it was "extremely unlikely that reporting these incidents to the police would lead to any action being taken".

Christopher complained that "more and more charities seemed to become overtly political" and that there's a tendency towards "socialism". CNN has requested comment from the European Union and the WHO. It also made no mention of any potential sexual crimes involving minors.

At present, Oxfam, which receives 300 million pounds (about 414 million USA dollars) a year from governments and in public donations, insisted there had been no cover-up, but it was facing growing political pressure to make full disclosure of its evidence from Haiti to the Charity Commission.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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