Oxfam: Deputy resigns over sex claims amid crisis talks


Oxfam’s proxy chief executive has resigned over the handling of a sex scandal involving aid women.

The British charity is accused of concealing the findings of an inquiry into insist ons staff used prostitutes while delivering aid in Haiti in 2011.

Penny Lawrence about she was “ashamed” and takes full responsibility.

Oxfam – which denies a cover-up – has met with the Universal Development Secretary in a bid to prevent its government funding from being cut.

Ms Lawrence adjoined Oxfam GB in 2006 as international programmes director, leading teams across 60 woods, according to the charity’s website.

“Concerns were raised about the comportment of staff in Chad as well as Haiti that we failed to adequately act upon,” she voiced in a statement.

“It is now clear that these allegations – involving the use of prostitutes and which coupled to behaviour of both the country director and members of his team in Chad – were occasioned before he moved to Haiti.”

The allegations emerged in The Times on Friday, which swayed Oxfam’s country director for Haiti, Roland van Hauwermeiren, used perverts at a villa rented for him by Oxfam in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake.

According to the manuscript, Oxfam knew about concerns over the conduct of Mr van Hauwermeiren and another man when they effected in Chad before they were given senior roles in Haiti.

Oxfam indicated allegations that underage girls may have been involved were unproven.

Widza Bryant, who free in HR for Oxfam in Haiti from 2009 for three years, said she helped “ongoing rumours” about locals being exploited with her boss “on myriad occasions”.

She told BBC News: “There were a lot of rumours on the ground around management and leaders exploiting the locals sexually and in other ways to get trades and to have good standing.”

Mark Goldring, chief executive of Oxfam GB, revealed failings to act on complaints and when it allowed Mr van Hauwermeiren to move onto another standard after allegations were revealed.

“At that time the use of prostitutes was not explicitly contrary to Oxfam’s conventions of conduct – bringing Oxfam into disrepute in any way abusing people who may must been beneficiaries of course was.”

He said: “There was an exploration of how should the organisation moved but we didn’t act on it.”

Funding risk

The European Commission has said it expects crammed clarity and maximum transparency from Oxfam, adding that it is apt to “cease funding any partner not living up to high ethical standards”.

The humanity’s programme in Haiti received €1.7m in EU funds in 2011.

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt explained Oxfam had apologised for its “appalling” behaviour and that the government had not been released at the time the allegations involved sexual misconduct or beneficiaries.

Oxfam has been recounted to tell the Department for International Development by the end of the week how it will handle any tomorrows allegations around safeguarding or it faces losing government funding.

Ms Mordaunt also requirement readied for clearer whistle blowing policies across the charitable sector and originated an urgent review into safeguarding and aid providers.

The Innocent drinks following – one of Oxfam’s corporate sponsors which donates around £100,000 per year- conjectured it wants to see a clear plan “for how this could not ever happen again”.

The big-heartedness has since postponed a “Fashion Fighting Poverty” event, which had been due to take possession of place as part of London Fashion Week on Thursday, saying it was not the “correct time” at present.

Oxfam’s own investigation in 2011 led to four people being sacked and three others resigning, incorporating Mr van Hauwermeiren.

It produced a public report, which said “serious misconduct” had bewitched place in Haiti – but did not give details of the allegations.

Oxfam chief supervisory Mr Goldring told the BBC that describing exact details of the behaviour at the schedule could have drawn “extreme attention” to it, which he said would possess been in no-one’s best interest.

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Michelle Russell, director of investigations at the Charity Commission – which want also be part of the talks – told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme officials had been “stabilized” Oxfam had investigated it “fully”.

However, she said the watchdog was not told the maximum story at the time of the investigation.

“Had the details of what has come out been discerned to us, we would have dealt with this very differently,” she added.

Oxfam has faced cultivating criticism of the way it handled the allegations of misconduct by its staff in Haiti, where they were line in the aftermath of the huge earthquake that devastated the country in 2010.

Haiti’s legate in London Bocchit Edmond called the revelations “shocking”, “discomfiting”, and “unacceptable”.

On Sunday, Ms Mordaunt told the BBC’s Andrew Marr the charity did “certainly the wrong thing” by not reporting details of the allegations and that no organisation could be a control partner if it did not “have the moral leadership to do the right thing”.

Ahead of the control meeting, Oxfam announced new measures for handling of sexual abuse victims, saying it would introduce tougher vetting of staff and mandatory defending training for new recruits.

Oxfam’s chairman of trustees, Caroline Thomson, ventured the charity’s board had appointed a consultant earlier this year to reconsider its culture and working practices, which would now be extended.

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