News Worms
News Worms

26 new cases of sexual harassment and assault at Oxfam, committee hears

26 new cases of sexual harassment and assault at Oxfam, committee hears

OXFAM's United Kingdom executive director, Mark Goldring, has ensured that NGO is investigating 26 new cases of sexual misconduct in its bosom, denounced after scandal unleashed by revelations in British press on exploitation of women On part of its aid workers in Haiti, in humanitarian operation that NGO deployed on ground after devastating natural disaster that hit Caribbean country in 2010.

Goldring repeatedly apologised to the committee for his own comments that had appeared to play down the seriousness of the scandal.

National officer for the not-for-profit sector Siobhan Endean said: "Oxfam staff are dedicated to delivering aid to some of the poorest people in the world and the vast majority are entirely innocent of any wrongdoing. It is not for Oxfam to judge issues of proportionality or motivation", he told the committee.

"We should have said, please call us, there's cause for concern".

The British charity has been gripped by a scandal alleging that senior staff, including the former Haiti Country Director Roland van Hauwermeiren hired prostitutes at Oxfam premises after the 2010 earthquakes in the country.

London: Oxfam, the British charity rocked by corruption and sex abuse allegations, has revealed that three men at the centre of the claims physically threatened witnesses during a 2011 investigation.

"If any good can come out of horror of both Haiti and the last couple of weeks it is a more intensive commitment across the whole sector that we root this out, both in the practical way be encouraging reporting - which Oxfam has tried to do - but also in the way that Winnie was describing, which is to get to grips with culture and power relations, responsibility and values".

Since the story broke, Mr Goldring said 26 reports of recent and historic incidents have been made by Oxfam workers - 16 of them outside the UK.

"We know now that that was not enough", he said.

Van Hauwermeiren said last week that months before the formal investigation, he had already forced two other workers in Haiti to resign because they had hired prostitutes.

"If we were culpable, which we were, they should have been completely transparent", he told the committee.

Caroline Thomson, the chair of trustees at Oxfam, said: "On behalf of the council for Oxfam, we are ashamed of what happened in Haiti".

"We will not work with anybody who does not meet the high standards that we set", May added during a visit to a London school.

"I have spent my life trying to stand up for women's rights and to fight for people living in poverty. So this is painful for me". Some disgusting men came into our organisation and abused the trust of the British people, the supporters, but they were able to get away, to get a recommendation to leave.

The Charity Commission is now investigating the organisation.

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 natural disaster.


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