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Oxfam sex abuse scandal deepens


Yesterday International Development secretary Penny Mordaunt vowed to axe funding to Oxfam and "any other organisation that has safeguarding issues".

Penny Mordaunt said the charity had "betrayed" the people it was meant to help when it covered up wrongdoing, including allegations of staff's use of underage prostitutes following the Haitian natural disaster in 2010.

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 said she would write to British charities working overseas demanding they declare any problems relating to the duty they have to protect their staff and the people they work with from harm and abuse - so-called "safeguarding".

Mordaunt added she will also demand all donors and development organisations show leadership and take action on the matter at the global End Violence Solutions Summit in Stockholm next week.

That mission was also led by Mr van Hauwermeiren, who resigned from Oxfam in 2011 amid the charity's investigation into the Haiti allegations.

However, some went on to senior roles at other charities that were not informed of their reasons for leaving Oxfam, it was reported.

Ahead of its meeting with Ms Mordaunt, Oxfam announced a package of measures to improve safeguarding, including improved recruitment and vetting, a new whistleblowing helpline and a recommitment to report concerns to authorities.

Goldring apologised yesterday and said he was 'deeply ashamed of Oxfam's behaviour [in Haiti]'.

"The horrific behaviour by some members of Oxfam staff in Haiti in 2011 is an example of a wider issue on which DFID is already taking action, both at home and with the global community via the United Nations".


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, he said.

The charity should immediately hand over its entire 2011 investigation into the sexual misconduct to the appropriate prosecuting authorities and the Charity Commission, she said.

The Times reported Friday that the government secretary responsible for charity regulation was calling for Oxfam to provide more information about the staffers who had paid for sex in Haiti.

However, he said a report released by the charity did not give details of the allegations.

Oxfam, one of the world's most prominent relief agencies, could lose its funding from the British government over reports that its workers exploited survivors of a massive quake in Haiti, and possibly other disasters, for sex.

Mordaunt said Oxfam had told her department "categorically no" when it had asked if any beneficiaries of aid had been involved in or affected by the misconduct.

It said Oxfam's leaders had "showed a lack of judgment" in their handling of the matter and their level of openness with the government and commission.

Marr said: "That was a lie, wasn't it?"

Oxfam says it investigated the claims and four people were sacked.

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