Oxfam unveils action plan after stain of sexual abuse scandal

Michael Eavis
Image Michael Eavis said Oxfam was a ‘wonderful’ charity

18 February, 2018

Announcing plans to try to stamp out abuse in the organisation yesterday, Oxfam International's executive director Winnie Byanyima said the sexual exploitation allegations it faces were a "stain" on the charity "that will shame us for years".

"From the bottom of my heart, forgive us, forgive Oxfam", the Ugandan director said in her native tongue, Luganda.

She urged all victims of abuse to come forward.

Ms Mordaunt said: "We have been very clear that we will not work with any organisation that does not live up to the high standards on safeguarding and protection that we require".

Meanwhile, the British global development secretary said Oxfam had agreed to withdraw from bidding for any new United Kingdom government funding until government officials are satisfied the charity "can meet the high standards we expect of our partners".

'There are hundreds of good, fearless and compassionate people working for Oxfam around the world.

The International Development Secretary's announcement and criticism of Oxfam's leadership team came as one of the charity's senior figures complained the storm of criticism was "out of proportion".

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Mark Goldring, chief executive of Oxfam GB, admitted the organization needed to reform, but said "the scale and the intensity of the attacks feels out of proportion to the level of culpability".

"I'm appointing a high-level, independent commission that will look into our culture and our practices and make recommendations to make us stronger at protecting our people", she told the BBC.

It accused the United Kingdom -based charity of covering up an internal inquiry finding that the country director for Chad, Roland van Hauwermeiren, and members of his staff had paid prostitutes for sex in the African country. I struggle to understand it. "I never gave her money".

Eight years later activists in Haiti have learnt that Oxfam - the charity they considered an ally in their cause - was run by men who may have committed similar abuses.

He said: "I don't think (Oxfam) wanted to promote a sensation and damage the delivery of that programme".

In response, Oxfam said it would create a global database of accredited referees to crack down on forged or unreliable references from past or current employees.

The government has made three demands of Oxfam: that it produce a plan on how to deal with any forthcoming allegations, that it report any staff members involved in the Haiti scandal and that it fully cooperate with the Haitian authorities.

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