Government reviews relationship with charity Oxfam after Haiti sex allegations

Government reviews relationship with charity Oxfam after Haiti sex allegations

Government reviews relationship with charity Oxfam after Haiti sex allegations

There are also conflicting reports over whether Oxfam ever reported the incidents to the Charity Commission as it claimed to have done.

Oxfam's country director in Haiti, Roland van Hauwermeiren, 68, admitted using prostitutes at the villa rented for him by the charity and was allowed a "phased and dignified exit" because a high profile sacking would have "potentially serious implications" for the charity, the report said.

Prostitution is illegal in the country, and paying for sex is in breach of both Oxfam's code of conduct and United Nations regulations for aid workers.

Oxfam is guilty of "astonishing hypocrisy" and should face a criminal investigation over an alleged prostitution scandal involving senior aid workers in Haiti, the former International Development Secretary has claimed.

The statement said: "Four members of staff were dismissed as a result of the investigation and three, including the country director, resigned before the end of the investigation. I do not wish to hide behind the fact that these persons did not belong to the Belgian branch of the NGO", Declercq said, adding that no employee of Oxfam Belgium was in Haiti in 2010.

The Times of London's investigation, which was published Thursday, also detailed allegations that Oxfam's country director used prostitutes, as part of the raft of misconduct alleged to have occurred while the organization deployed to help the reeling island nation recover after a devastating 2010 quake.

"The misconduct findings related to offences including bullying, harassment, intimidation and failure to protect staff as well as sexual misconduct".

'The investigation was announced publicly and staff members were suspended pending the outcome'.

She said: "We are now engaged with the charity regarding its approach to safeguarding following more recent allegations".

As soon as we became aware of a range of allegations including of sexual misconduct in Haiti in 2011 we launched an internal investigation.

As part of that, we have already asked the charity to review historic safeguarding allegations and its response to them at the time.

Dame Barbara Stocking, who was the head of Oxfam in 2011, told the BBC that the charity had a long record of having a very good code of conduct.

Mercy Corps - which handed a job to one of the culprits - said it had received a positive reference from Oxfam in 2015.

But in its statement, DFID said the charity had fallen short. "Allegations that underage girls may have been involved were not proven".

Oxfam informed the Charity Commission about the broad nature of the allegations but without specific detail and failed to provide the watchdog with a final report.

"We acknowledge that hundreds of Oxfam staff have done no wrong and work tirelessly for the people they serve, but the handling by the senior team about this investigation and their openness with us and the charity commission showed a lack of judgement".

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