Oxfam sex scandal: Companies consider whether to cancel multi-million pound donations
Feb 14 2018
The British Government said Sunday it is warning all charities that receive United Kingdom aid to step up efforts to tackle sexual misconduct among staff or face having their funding cut, amid further fallout from a prostitution scandal involving Oxfam workers in Haiti in 2011.
Britain warned on Wednesday it would cut off ties with foreign aid charities that cover up sex scandals after revelations involving Oxfam, which has seen a spate in cancellations of donations.
However, Minnie plans to continue charity work outside of the umbrella of Oxfam, concluding, "Though it is unfortunate that after 20 years I am no longer able to advocate and defend through this specific framework, social and economic injustice is more globally prevalent than ever".
"As programme director at the time, I am ashamed that this happened on my watch and I take full responsibility", she said, adding that she was "desperately sorry for the harm and distress that this has caused to Oxfam's supporters, the wider development sector and most of all the vulnerable people who trusted us".
Oxfam denies a cover-up and its officials were set to meet International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt later in the day, the BBC reported. She acknowledged that allegations had been known that country director for Chad, Roland van Hauwermeiren, and members of his staff, had paid for sex while they were stationed in the African country in 2006 before the team was moved to Haiti four years later.
The comments from Haitian President Jovenel Moise add to the condemnation the anti-poverty charity has received since the Times revealed last week some Oxfam employees paid for sex while working in Haiti among people devastated by the 2010 natural disaster.
Ms Mordaunt added: No organisation is too big, or our work with them too complex, for me to hesitate to remove funding from them if we can not trust them to put the beneficiaries of aid first.
The sex scandal was slammed on February 13 by Haitian President Jovenel Moisem who said on Twitter that there was "nothing more undignified and dishonest" than humanitarian aid workers exploiting "needy people".
Oxfam also confirmed 52 safeguarding incidents occurred within its trading retail division a year ago, and a former Oxfam volunteer manager told HuffPost of her fears abuse could "absolutely" take place in shops.
Jane Salmondson, chief executive of Scotland's International Development Alliance, said that while recognising that recruitment in disaster settings is particularly hard to conduct, she welcomed action being taken by humanitarian agencies to improve vetting procedures.
Mordaunt is expected to say: "The sexual exploitation of vulnerable people, vulnerable children, is never acceptable".
The Charity Commission has launched an inquiry into Oxfam.
"However it would be even more tragically reprehensible if we allowed it to diminish the extraordinary efforts we collectively make, as members of the public who give and as humanitarian agencies who act, to help the people who most need our help".
Oxfam partners, including Marks & Spencer, Visa and Waterstones have been in touch with the charity and have said they are monitoring the situation.