Oxfam sex scandal: Sacked staff found new aid job in Bangladesh

Sunday, 11 Feb, 2018

"There is not a single organisation in which there has not been sexual abuse and exploitation and Oxfam is certainly no worse than most other worldwide organisations and actually has tried in many ways to be better", he said.

Oxfam - which employs around 5,000 staff and has 23,000 more volunteers - recorded 87 incidents a year ago, referring 53 to the police or authorities and dismissing 20 staff or volunteers, according to the paper.

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

A spokesman said: "We often work with organisations in chaotic and hard circumstances".

But the charity regulator said Oxfam's report stated there had been no allegations of abuse of beneficiaries and did not mention potential sexual crimes involving minors.

"I am very clear: we will not work with any organisation that does not live up to the high standards on safeguarding and protection that we require".

Meanwhile, the Charity Commission has written to Oxfam for more information.

Britain's Department for International Development - which gave $43.8 million in taxpayer money to Oxfam in 2017 - also had harsh words for the charity.

The Haitian government is expected to summon Oxfam representative in Haiti, he said, adding that a rented villa in the island country was used for the sex trade.

"I think we should have been open that there was sexual misconduct and that involved the use of prostitutes", he said.

"I am extremely committed to wiping out that kind of behaviour from Oxfam and rebuild that relationship of trust with the public".

The review comes amid fresh reports in The Times that Oxfam did not tell other aid agencies about the behaviour of staff involved in the investigation after they left to work elsewhere.

The French charity told AFP it made pre-employment checks with Oxfam but that the UK-based organisation failed to pass on details of his transgressions. "While there is nothing we can do to stop individuals falsifying references or getting colleagues to provide a reference in a personal capacity, there is clearly more that can and should be done to ensure that individuals who are found to be guilty of sexual misconduct do not continue to find work in the sector".

On Friday (9 February) the Department for International Development said that the charity had shown a "lack of judgement" in its investigations following the 2010/11 incidents.

The charity said it launched an immediate investigation in 2011 which found a "culture of impunity" among some staff but has denied trying to cover up the scandal.

Three men were allowed to resign and four others were fired for gross misconduct following an internal probe in 2011 into sexual exploitation, bullying and intimidation.