UK's Oxfam Hit with New Report of Sexual Misconduct

Tim Hunter

As was reported last week, seven former Oxfam staff members who worked in Haiti in 2011 faced allegations of misconduct that included using prostitutes and downloading pornography.

The European commission, which also gives as much funding as the United Kingdom government to Oxfam said that "We are ready to review and if needed cease funding any partner who is not living up to the required high ethical standards".

Driver, 48, travelled to Thailand and Cambodia in her role with Oxfam and performed at a charity concert in London in 2004, joining stars such as Chris Martin, Razorlight and REM.

FOLLOWING REVELATIONS of abuse allegations and a subsequent cover-up by global aid charity Oxfam, worldwide development minister Alasdair Allan has written to Scotland-based non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working overseas to stress a zero tolerance policy on abuse or misconduct.

"Women who have to supplement their factory/manual labour with sex work.There are NGOs who do not cover up the egregious abuses of their employees".

Roland van Hauwermeiren, 68, whom Oxfam said was forced to resign as Haiti country director in 2011 after allegedly admitting hiring prostitutes, went on to become head of mission for Action Against Hunger in Bangladesh from 2012 to 2014.

Britain's International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt.

"We regret that we did not act on Helen's concerns much quicker and with more resources", the statement said, adding it was now expanding the safeguarding team.

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"Unless you safeguard everyone your organisation comes into contact with, including beneficiaries, staff and volunteers - we will not fund you".

At a conference in Stockholm on Wednesday Ms Mordaunt warned: "No organisation is too big, or our work with them too complex, for me to hesitate to remove funding from them if we can not trust them to put the beneficiaries of aid first".

Oxfam has faced severe criticism for a lack of transparency over misconduct allegations against staff members accused of using prostitutes in Haiti following a devastating 2010 natural disaster.

Following Oxfam's sexual misconduct scandal, the government is expected to tell aid agencies that funding will be withdrawn if they can not show they are preventing abuse by staff.

Oxfam partners, including Marks & Spencer, Visa and Waterstones have been in touch with the charity and have said they are monitoring the situation.

Yesterday a Scottish Government spokesperson said: "The Scottish Government is deeply concerned by the reports of serious misconduct by Oxfam staff in Haiti".

"Sexual abuse and exploitation is an issue the entire development sector needs to confront", Mordaunt said, calling for a culture that "ensures victims and whistleblowers can come forward without fear".

Grosse Pointe Blank star Driver, who is now starring in ABC's Speechless, said that she would continue to work against "social and economic injustice".

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