Oxfam Told of Aid Workers Abusing Children in Haiti Decade Ago

Jeannette Daniel
February 18, 2018

As we reported earlier, the scandal has led to calls in the United Kingdom and European Union to cut funding for Oxfam, which gets almost $85 million annually from those sources. Earlier in the week, Oxfam's Deputy Chief Executive Penny Lawrence said that she was resigning amid the scandal.

"The intensity and the ferocity of the attack makes you wonder, what did we do?" he said in an interview with the Guardian.

She invited victims to come forward "for justice to be done" for them, saying she was "here for all the women who have been abused".

"This review marks the beginning of change for Oxfam as an worldwide organisation - Oxfam Ireland is 100% committed to playing our part and to working with others in government and across the sector to implement urgent reforms that enable us to do more and do better for the world's poorest".

British aid organisation Oxfam faced fresh pressure on Tuesday after a former senior member of staff said her concerns about "a culture of sexual abuse" involving aid workers in some of the organisation's offices had been ignored. "I never gave her money".

The executive director of Oxfam, one of the leading worldwide relief organizations in the world, has apologized and asked forgiveness in the wake of allegations that a former director hired prostitutes in disaster zones.

Oxfam told to show 'moral leadership' or lose government funds
Scandal-hit Oxfam recorded a staggering 87 incidents, while Save The Children and Christian Aid reported 31 and two respectively. Roland van Hauwermeiren, who has been at the centre of Haiti sex scandal, was running Oxfam's Chad operation at the time .

In comments to reporters at the newspaper Het Nieuwsblad, who tracked him down in an unidentified town on the Belgian coast, Van Hauwermeiren said there were "lots of lies and exaggerations" in media reports.

The prostitution allegations were not passed to Haitian authorities at the time of the inquiry, but Oxfam said it had now passed on the names of the men involved.

The charity admitted Thursday it rehired one of those sacked in Haiti just months later and is now checking whether any complaints were subsequently made.

Oxfam has come under fire for failing to inform other aid organisations of the allegations against its staff including Van Hauwermeiren, who went on to work for French charity Action Against Hunger in Bangladesh.

At home and overseas, we will not stand for any kind of harassment of staff, partners, volunteers or those we serve and we are doubling the number of people who work on safeguarding to make sure we are living up to our responsibility to protect them.

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.

Other reports by My Hot News

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