Oxfam faces fresh probe over Haiti prostitutes scandal
Oxfam faces fresh probe over Haiti prostitutes scandal
Aid workers including Oxfam's country director are alleged to have used prostitutes while in Haiti
12 February, 2018, 01:11
Oxfam is facing mounting criticism over its handling of sex allegations, but has denied it tried to cover up the use of prostitutes by workers in Haiti in 2011.
Responding to reports that staff who left Oxfam in Haiti later joined other aid agencies, without their knowledge of the incidents, Christian Aid: "We are committed to living out our values of respect and dignity for all, and we will investigate any claims about any individuals involved in the Haiti incident to ascertain the facts, should they relate to Christian Aid and should we receive further information".
Mordaunt said she would also be meeting with Oxfam's representatives on Monday, adding: "I'm very clear it doesn't matter whether you've got a whistle-blowing hotline, it doesn't matter if you've got good safeguarding practices in place".
Asked by Andrew Marr whether she felt Oxfam's managers had failed in moral leadership, Ms Mordaunt said: "Yes, I do".
The Chad mission was led by Roland van Hauwermeiren who resigned in 2011 after he admitted prostitutes had visited his villa in Haiti during the humanitarian mission there following the 2010 quake.
In a sign of widening fallout from the scandal, the Sunday Times reported more than 120 workers for Britain's leading charities were accused of sexual abuse in the past year, "fuelling fears paedophiles are targeting overseas aid organisations".
Hundreds of people, many of them Haitian, demonstrate against racism in Times Square on Martin Luther King (MLK) Day on January 15, 2018 in New York City. Oxfam had no immediate response to Mordaunt's comments.
"I am deeply ashamed about Oxfam's behaviour then", CEO Mark Goldring told ITV News.
"The horrific behaviour by some members of Oxfam staff in Haiti in 2011 is an example of a wider issue on which DFID is already taking action, both at home and with the worldwide community via the United Nations".
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Major global 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.
The Charity Commission said it had written to Oxfam as a matter of urgency to request further information and establish greater clarity.
"It is utterly despicable that sexual exploitation and abuse continues to exist in the aid sector", Mordaunt said in her overnight statement.
But the charity said it had publicly announced an investigation into the allegations when they surfaced in 2011.
Ms Mordaunt replied: 'Well, quite'.
The charity should immediately hand over its entire 2011 investigation into the sexual misconduct to the appropriate prosecuting authorities and the Charity Commission, she said.
Four members of staff were dismissed and three, including the country director, resigned before the end of the 2011 investigation, Oxfam said.
However, the minister said Oxfam did "absolutely the wrong thing" by not reporting the detail of the incidents to the government.
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