Oxfam woes mount as charity commission in United Kingdom opens inquiry

Adjust Comment Print

Oxfam's deputy chief executive Penny Lawrence resigned Monday, saying she took full responsibility for the organization's failure to act.

She said Oxfam "was not conducting the criminal record checks it needed to", and that "children were being left alone with adults who had not been record checked".

"As the new president of Oxfam, I share with anger and shame that such behaviours in Haiti have occurred in our organisation", the former director of the BBC, nominated for the NGO position in November 2016, said in a statement.

The resignation of Penny Lawrence came after days of crisis at the charity triggered by a report in the Times newspaper alleging that some staff had paid for sex with prostitutes in Haiti in 2011, during humanitarian relief efforts after an quake.

Recent news reports that Oxfam officials, a confederation of humanitarian institutions headquartered in Oxford, UK, used NGO money to pay prostitutes in Haiti after the 2010 quake.

In 2011, several Oxfam staff were accused of sexual exploitation and abuse in Haiti during the quake response.

On Friday, Oxfam said allegations that underage girls may have been involved were not proven, It said four members of staff were dismissed as a result of the investigation and three resigned before the end of the investigation.

We from aid agencies are there to accompany and to serve, not to exploit in the way the present set up (ironically supported by the Department for International Development) can so readily make possible.

The Commission said that further details about the scope of the inquiry will be made public in the coming days.

Norwegian Air plans new routes from London to South America
The airline will introduce eight new Airbus A321neo LR , with the first joining in 2019 and serving the United Kingdom from 2020. Norwegian also has long-term ambitions to secure slots for a triple-daily Gatwick-New York service.

The paper also reports that the charity failed to alert other aid agencies about the staff members' behaviour, with Mr Van Hauwermeiren going on to work elsewhere in the sector.

Helen Evans, who after leaving organization in 2015, denounced her to charity Commission, governing body of charitable institutions in country, talks about abuses of adolescent volunteers at NGO stores in United Kingdom, and ensures that a report Internally revealed that one in ten employees had witnessed or experienced sexual assaults.

Reports emerged over the weekend that Oxfam mishandled allegations of sexual misconduct by its staff in Haiti, where they were working in the aftermath of the huge natural disaster that devastated the country in 2010.

"Trocaire has a zero tolerance approach to sexual exploitation and abuse of any person", he said.

The Times says ministers should withdraw taxpayers funding from Oxfam until the extent of the misconduct is known, and accuses the International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt of ducking tough decisions.

The Daily Express is already campaigning against Britain's target of spending nought point seven per cent of GDP on foreign aid, under the banner "stop the foreign aid madness".

The revelations have caused outrage in Britain, where Oxfam received £31.7 million (35.7 million euros, $43.8 million) from the government previous year. "It is important that we take this urgent step to ensure that these matters can be dealt with fully and robustly".

Oxfam said some former workers may have falsified references or asked individual staff members to provide references, but said it couldn't prevent such actions.

She knows she will face tough questioning from MPs on the global development committee next week about what her department knew and what she has done since.

Comments