nsucurrent.com March 17, 2018

Oxfam chief: Sex abuse claims a 'stain' on the organisation

18 February 2018, 06:02 | Violet Powell

Haiti was devastated by the quake in 2010 that killed more than 220,000 peopleCHRISTIAN ALS PANOS

Haiti was devastated by the quake in 2010 that killed more than 220,000 people

Oxfam will triple funding to address safeguarding processes, while also doubling the number of staff in this area and increasing investment in gender training.

The charity's deputy chief executive Penny Lawrence has resigned and three Oxfam global ambassadors including South Africa's Archbishop Desmond Tutu have quit their roles as a result of the scandal.

"The intensity and the ferocity of the attack makes you wonder, what did we do?" he said in an interview with the Guardian.

Helen Evans, who was in charge of investigating allegations against Oxfam staff members between 2012 and 2015, told Channel Four television that abuse cases she had heard of included a woman who had been coerced to have sex in exchange for aid.

Earlier this week at the NME Awards, Eavis' father, Michael, told the Press Association: "We've raised millions through the years with Oxfam - six million quid and everyone's said what a wonderful charity they are and we still support them".

On Friday, Haiti's President said that sexual misconduct by staff of British charity Oxfam was only the tip of an "iceberg" and called for investigations into Doctors without Borders and other aid organizations which came to the country after its 2010 natural disaster.

"What happened in Haiti and afterwards is a stain on Oxfam that will shame us for years, and rightly so", Byanyima said, adding: "From the bottom of my heart I am asking for forgiveness".

"This was with an honourable, mature woman, who was not an quake victim nor a prostitute".

Oxfam, one of the world's biggest disaster relief charities, has neither confirmed nor denied that specific account but has said an internal investigation in 2011 confirmed sexual misconduct occurred, and it has apologised.

"I think it was very unbalanced and, ironically, didn't give enough credit to the very work that she promoted", he said.

Speaking to reporters with the Het Nieuwsblad newspaper, who tracked him on the Belgian coast, Van Hauwermeiren said there were "lots of lies and exaggerations" in media reports.

The organisation has said that the names of the men involved have already been shared with the Haitian authorities.

Oxfam said its decision to rehire the man in Ethiopia was a "serious error".

They are also setting up a global database of accredited referees to ensure sex offenders can not re-offend at other charities, and improving the organisation's "whistleblowing mechanism".

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