Opinion Piece Examines Oxfam Scandal, Haiti's History With Aid Organizations

The 2011 report into aid workers deployed to Haiti following the devastating natural disaster the previous year, revealed that seven staff were accused of using prostitutes at an Oxfam-funded residence.

The charity formally apologised to Haiti yesterday over the prostitution scandal rocking the aid charity.

He revealed that 7,000 individuals had cancelled direct debits to the charity in the last 10 days, and said that of the 26 cases reported, 16 had taken place in Oxfam's global programmes.

"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".

Oxfam has received 26 further allegations of sexual misconduct since revelations of alleged abuse by its staff in Haiti surfaced two weeks ago.

The Haiti government has threatened to expel the charity following allegations.

Oxfam said it had informed the relevant national authorities of the names of the seven men involved in sexual misconduct.

Last night critics again called on Mr Goldring to resign, saying that he was trying to "spin" the crisis to make Oxfam the victim, despite a catalogue of allegations about the behaviour of staff.

About 7,000 people canceled their regular donations to United Kingdom charity Oxfam in the last 10 days, following a sex scandal in the organization, CEO of the charity's British affiliate Mark Goldring said Tuesday.

Goldring added that he believed the latest cases had emerged as "a direct response to the publicity" around the Haitian scandal.

Oxfam has said that it would now overhaul its recruitment and vetting procedures and rather than conduct its own inquiries into allegations of sexual abuse, it will submit them to an independent commission to investigate.

Kevin Watkins, Chief Executive of the charity Save the Children, said the scandal surrounding Oxfam's operations in Haiti, where senior staff were found to have used prostitutes, was not a one-off. "My first concern is the women of Haiti and anybody else who has been wronged as a result of Oxfam's programme".

Oxfam's final internal investigation report from 2011 into allegations of sexual misconduct and other unacceptable behaviour during Oxfam's humanitarian response to the Haiti quake of 2010 was published by the charity after details were leaked to The Times. "We have got to keep that work going", he said.

Goldring also acknowledged that the actions undertaken by the staff in question had damaged the image of Oxfam and other aid agencies and had put their trust into question.

Stephen Twigg, the committee chairman, announced a wider inquiry into sexual exploitation in the aid sector.

"We really want people to come forward", he added.

  • Stacy Allen