Oxfam releases internal report over Haiti sex scandal, offers apology

Ismael LynchFeb 21, 2018

Seven Oxfam workers were fired or resigned in 2011 after a whistleblower accused staff members of misconduct while working in Haiti after the 2010 natural disaster that devastated the country.

Britain's International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said that Oxfam GB's then-chief executive, Barbara Stocking, and programme director Penny Lawrence, at the time misled regulators and the charity's donors over the case, "quite possibly deliberately".

Goldring also said that the charity has received allegations of 26 new misconduct violations since the scandal broke out.

Calling on Mr Goldring to apologise, committee chairman Stephen Twigg said the parallel he drew with the murder of babies in his interview with the Guardian was regarded by many people as "grossly inappropriate". On Tuesday, he said he had been under stress when he made the controversial comment.

His comments were echoed by Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International and Oxfam chair Caroline Thomson, who both said they were "ashamed" by the scandal of abuse.

London: Oxfam, the British charity rocked by corruption and sex abuse allegations, has revealed that three men at the centre of the claims physically threatened witnesses during a 2011 investigation.

Unite's Oxfam branch has now written to the Charity Commission, the Department for International Development and the International Development Select Committee with a series of recommendations to ensure staff as well as the the public are fully protected, a spokesperson said.

Mr Goldring said there was now a safeguarding team and helpline at Oxfam and the charity was seeking more independent support.

It is not known if he was one of the suspects accused of threatening witnesses.

Haiti, which has criticized the United Kingdom charity for not notifying it of the findings, is now conducting its own investigation.

He said about 7,000 people have stopped making regular donations to Oxfam since the Times newspaper first reported the story.

"They were having parties over there that were described as orgies with a smorgasbord of women, girls, wearing Oxfam T-shirts. 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".

British lawmakers also questioned officials from Save the Children UK amid concern sex predators are targeting aid organizations because of the chaotic environments in which they work.

In the wake of the revelations, MPs on the global development committee convened an urgent session to investigate the crisis.

Simon Ticehurst and Margalida Massot, two of Oxfam's senior staff, met with Haiti's minister of planning and external cooperation on Monday to offer their "humblest apologies".

In 2016, the United Nations said it had received 145 allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse - 80 of which were associated with uniformed peacekeepers, and 65 with civilian personnel.

The Haiti government has threatened to expel the charity following allegations.

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