Allegations against Oxfam have deepened as many now accuse the charity of failing to show “moral leadership”.
It has recently come to light that when Haiti was struck by an earthquake in 2011, volunteer staff took advantage of sex workers in the country.
It’s believed that Oxfam was made aware of allegations that some of its aid workers used prostitutes whilst they were working on rebuilding the community after the earthquake.
One of the men at the centre of this scandal had previously had the whistle blown on him for having ‘sex parties’ with young women while working for charity Merlin in Liberia.
An investigation published by The Times alleged that Oxfam had covered up this misconduct by their workers, and that children may have been among those sexually exploited by aid workers.
The former head of safeguarding for Oxfam, Helen Evans said she had raised concerns about abuse that took place, including coercion into sex in exchange for aid, workers nondisclosure of previously being struck off for sexual abuse, and accusations of rape and sexual abuse of young volunteers in Oxfam’s UK stores.
Ten per cent of Oxfam staff in some countries claimed to have been sexually assaulted or witnessed abuse by colleagues.
She claims her bosses ignored her evidence & pleas for resources, forcing her to quit in despair at the “culture of sexual abuse within some Oxfam offices”.
Oxfam chief executive, Mark Golding issued a formal apology for the behaviour of the workers involved with Haiti’s sex workers, but denied that the charity “deliberately lied” or covered up the abuse
He told the press: “I fully recognise that by telling half a story it feels that way. And with hindsight we should have told the whole story.”
The president of Haiti, Jovenel Moïse commented warning aid agencies that his country would not accept their support if it came along with “abhorrent violations”.
He said: “There is nothing more shameful than a sexual predator using the veil of catastrophe as a means to exploit the vulnerable in their most defenceless moments. What transpired is a violation of basic human decency.”
In reaction to Oxfam’s secrecy on the issue, celebrity Oxfam ambassador, Minnie Driver, has withdrawn from her role and has cut all ties with the charity.
Whilst Driver has made her withdrawal from the charity well known, other large companies who are involved with the charity, such as Marks & Spencer’s and Visa have not yet revealed if they are to cut ties with Oxfam.