Published: Mon, February 12, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Christian Aid reveals sexual misconduct investigations following Oxfam accusations

Christian Aid reveals sexual misconduct investigations following Oxfam accusations

Former global development secretary Priti Patel said she was aware of the issue of sexual misconduct and abuse in the aid sector, in general, adding there was "a culture of denial".

The British charity Oxfam is under fire over accusations that some of its aid workers engaged in sexual misconduct in the aftermath of the 2010 quake that devastated Haiti, and that the agency subsequently attempted to cover-up the negligent behavior, according to British officials.

Among the provisions is a pledge to work with other aid organizations to overcome "the legal difficulties which have so far prevented us from sharing intelligence" with other aid agencies regarding staff members previously accused of misconduct.

Mordaunt, speaking to the BBC, said she was meeting Oxfam representatives on Monday.

Penny Mordaunt hit out at Oxfam officials who had used prostitutes while working in Haiti after the 2010 natural disaster, dubbing their behaviour "despicable".

In the wake of reports on misconduct by Oxfam staff in Haiti, Christian Aid has issued the following statement today, outlining its policy on dealing with claims of sexual harassment.

However, some went on to senior roles at other charities that were not informed of their reasons for leaving Oxfam, it was reported.

She challenged Oxfam bosses to explain why a resulting investigation saw four staff dismissed and three resign - with no public disclosure.

"I am deeply ashamed about Oxfam's behaviour then", CEO Mark Goldring told ITV News.

It said van Hauwermeiren resigned from Oxfam in 2011, after admitting that prostitutes had visited his villa in Haiti.

"Through their unacceptable actions, they have undermined the vital, effective and life-changing work carried out by Oxfam, as well as by other aid and humanitarian organisations worldwide".

Charities, including Oxfam, have been told they will have funding withdrawn if they fail to comply with authorities over safeguarding issues.

"Our approach to this matter would have been different had the full details that have been reported been disclosed to us at the time", the regulator said in a statement.

Penny Mordaunt, the worldwide development secretary, said the charity had lied to her department.

A DfID spokesman said the way "appalling abuse of vulnerable people" had been dealt with raised serious questions for Oxfam. Asked if that was a lie, Mordaunt said: "Well, quite".

Mordaunt said she suspected some people were trying to join charities in order to carry out "predatory activities".

Ms Mordaunt replied: 'Well, quite'.

Former global development secretary Priti Patel told BBC Radio 5 Live the Oxfam allegations had not surprised her and said it was "absolutely appalling".

In a further warning to the charity, she said: 'If they do not hand over all the information that they have from their investigation and subsequently to the relevant authorities, including the Charity Commission and prosecuting authorities, then I can not work with them any more as an aid delivery partner'.

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