Oxfam criticised over Haiti sex claims – BBC

Oxfam has been severely criticised by the Charity Commission for the way it dealt with claims of serious sexual misconduct by its staff in Haiti.

The commission said there was a “culture of poor behaviour” at the charity, and issued it with an official warning over its “mismanagement”.

Last year Oxfam was accused of covering up claims staff sexually exploited victims of the 2010 earthquake.

Oxfam accepted the findings, saying what happened in Haiti was “shameful”.

How the Oxfam scandal unfolded

Claims first emerged in The Times last year that Oxfam employees, including former country director Roland van Hauwermeiren, used young prostitutes while based in Haiti after the earthquake.

An internal Oxfam investigation in 2011 led to four people being sacked and three others resigning, including Mr Van Hauwermeiren.

But a report published by Oxfam after the investigation failed to mention sexual exploitation.

The charity commission said the incidents in Haiti identified in 2011 were not “one-offs”, with evidence of behavioural issues as early as June 2010.

There were also issues at some of the charity’s UK shops – the report highlighted 16 serious incidents involving volunteers under the age of 18.

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By Maria Ordonez
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