Oxfam Bosses To be Questioned Over Haiti Sex Scandal

Oxfam Bosses To be Questioned Over Haiti Sex Scandal

Oxfam Bosses To be Questioned Over Haiti Sex Scandal

British aid charity Oxfam said Tuesday (Feb 20) it was investigating 26 new cases of sexual misconduct, including 16 in its worldwide operations, which had been reported since a scandal broke earlier this month over its handling of a 2011 case in Haiti.

He was being questioned by lawmakers over sexual exploitation in the aid sector following the scandal over the alleged use of prostitutes in Haiti in 2011 in the aftermath of the island's quake.

Directors from the Department for International Development will also face a grilling by members of the international development select committee this morning.

He added: "Certainly the scale and intensity of the attacks feel out of proportion to the level of culpability".

"I wholeheartedly apologise for those comments and commit to working in that greater public interest".

Oxfam has lost 7,000 regular donors since it was revealed staff sexually exploited victims of the Haiti natural disaster in 2010, its chief executive has told a committee of MPs, which accused the charity of treating vulnerable women "like trinkets".

The director of operations in the country admitted using sex workers in his charity-funded accommodation but was given a "phased and dignified exit" as long as he fully cooperated with the investigation, Oxfam said in the report.

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The Labour MP Stephen Twigg, who chairs the committee, said it was striking how often Goldring needed to apologise during the near-two-hour evidence session, saying there was "a lot to apologise for".

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

With the spotlight now also falling on other aid organisations, Haitian President Jovenel Moise has said sexual misconduct by Oxfam staff was just the tip of an "iceberg". "I hope I have led Oxfam competently, but that's for others to decide".

Mr Goldring, chief executive of Oxfam GB, is said to have reviewed the case himself. He admitted, with hindsight, the charity should have been more transparent. At the time, I suspect there was a balance of saying: "'Oxfam is delivering life-saving assistance to a million people in Haiti ... we have got to keep that work going'".

"They were having parties over there that were described as orgies with a smorgasbord of women, girls, wearing Oxfam T-shirts. We don't think it was well-handled and our task now is to make sure we report always with transparency and accountability".

Oxfam has said it will set up a commission to investigate past and present allegations of exploitation by staff.

Details of the scandal surfaced earlier this month and have engulfed Oxfam, drawing widespread condemnation and putting its funding at risk.

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