Oxfam condemns staff over sex reports in earthquake-hit Haiti

Zero Tolerance Line On Oxfam Sex Scandal UK Prime Minister's Office

Zero Tolerance Line On Oxfam Sex Scandal UK Prime Minister's Office

Oxfam, one of the world's largest charities, is facing mounting criticism over its handling of sex allegations, but has denied it tried to cover up the use of prostitutes by workers who were supposed to be helping victims of a major natural disaster in Haiti in 2011.

"The behaviour of some members of Oxfam staff uncovered in Haiti in 2011 was totally unacceptable, contrary to our values and the high standards we expect of our staff", Oxfam said when asked to comment on a report in The Times of London that aid workers had paid prostitutes for sex.

"What is so disturbing about Oxfam is that when this was reported to them, they completely failed to do the right thing", said Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt told the BBC on Sunday. Among the provisions is a pledge to work with other aid organizations to overcome "the legal difficulties which have so far prevented us from sharing intelligence" with other aid agencies regarding staff members previously accused of misconduct.

Ms Mordaunt will meet senior staff at Oxfam today and the Charity Commission has written to them, as a "matter of urgency", requesting further information. The charity confirmed it had dismissed four people and allowed three others to resign in the case after an investigation uncovered offences including sexual misconduct, bullying, intimidation and failure to protect staff.

She added she was writing to all United Kingdom charities which receive United Kingdom aid asking them to spell out the steps they are taking to ensure safeguarding policies are in place and working properly.

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United Kingdom officials have said that Oxfam needs to hand over all its information on the issue in order to not lose funding.

He added: "Everybody - the 25,000 staff and volunteers - are compromised by this, the hundreds of thousands of people who support Oxfam every month are compromised by this, and to everybody I apologise. I had quotes from the United Nations report", she said.

Priti Patel, who resigned as International Development Secretary in November, made the shock allegation amid revelations about Oxfam.

"There is a culture of denial in the aid sector about the exploitation and sexual abuse that has taken place historically for decades".

According to The Observer, women were repeatedly invited "for parties" at Oxfam's team premises.

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