Oxfam Confirms Seven New Sex Allegations In High Street Shops

Mary Beard
Mary Beard

22 February, 2018

Oxfam GB Chief Executive Mark Goldring has this morning appeared before International Development Committee with news of more sexual misconduct claims.

"Across Oxfam Great Britain we have had about 26 stories, reports come to us which were either new reports come out as a result of the stories, or earlier stories where people said, "I didn't necessarily report this at the time". Some of those cases relate to the United Kingdom, some of them relate to our global programme". Conservative committee member Pauline Latham noted that she had heard allegations of aid workers abusing women as early as two years ago at an global conference - and that no one was doing anything about it.

Goldring also apologised over Oxfam's initial communication with the Charity Commission, which has been accused by the regulator of not explaining in full the seriousness of the situation in Haiti when Oxfam employees were reported to have been paying for prostitutes.

While the inquiry was still underway, the line manager of one of the suspects leaked a report to another member of staff.

Thomson vowed to take "personal responsibility" for ongoing reform: "I have decided that we need to have more focus on safeguarding".

Save The Children dealt with 193 child protection and 35 sexual harassment cases involving allegations against its staff around the world previous year, the head of the charity told MPs today.

The former director of Oxfam in Haiti, at the center of a global sex abuse scandal, admitted that he had had sex with prostitutes on premises funded by the organization, according to a 2011 report by the NGO after an internal investigation made public Monday.

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"Oxfam should have reported the matter to the Haitian authorities", Goldring told lawmakers.

Video: How does the Oxfam scandal affect donations? But he has assured that, at time of internal investigation, Oxfam published a press release that revealed problems of "serious misconduct", not to mention sexual exploitation in particular.

Earlier this month, reports surfaced that Oxfam employees paid sex workers while on an aid mission following Haiti's devastating natural disaster in 2010.

Four staff were fired for gross misconduct and three others, including van Hauwermeiren, were allowed to quit.

The Labour MP Stephen Twigg, who chairs the committee, said it was striking how often Goldring needed to apologise during the near-two-hour evidence session, saying there was "a lot to apologise for".

"Demonstrably, you have got to get your house in order", he told its leadership.

CEO Kevin Watkins said the organization had produced two reports warning that "predatory men" were seeking to use aid work as an opportunity for abuse.

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