Oxfam receives 26 misconduct allegations following Haiti sex scandal

Oxfam receives 26 misconduct allegations following Haiti sex scandal

Mark Goldring appeared before MPs yesterday (February 20)

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Oxfam has received 26 allegations of misconduct since the Haiti sex scandal erupted two weeks ago, charity chiefs have revealed.

Mark Goldring, Oxfam GB's chief executive, said 16 of the claims stemmed from abroad, whilst 10 came from the UK.

Giving evidence to the Commons International Development Committee, Goldring said around 7,000 people have cancelled regular donations to Oxfam over the past 10 days, adding that corporate sponsors appeared to be "reserving judgment."

Goldring publicly apologised for the actions of charity staff who sexually exploited female victims of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

He also apologised for his own comments which appeared to play down the seriousness of the scandal, when he told a newspaper that the charity was being attacked as if it had "murdered babies in their cots."

The Parliamentary hearing comes after Oxfam officially released its report on the behaviour of staff in Haiti. The report showed that seven staff members had either resigned or been sacked following allegations of "sex parties" involving prostitutes.

The report was leaked by The Times newspaper earlier this month. Asked how many more revelations had come to his notice since then, Goldring said: "Across Oxfam Great Britain we have had about 26 stories, reports come to us which were either new reports come out as a result of the stories, or earlier stories where people said, 'I didn't necessarily report this at the time.' Over an extended period of time, I am not talking about recent cases.

"We really want people to come forward wherever they are and whenever this happened. Some of those cases relate to the UK, some of them relate to our international programme."

Goldring apologised after committee chairman Stephen Twigg said that the parallel the charity chief drew with the murder of babies in an interview with the Guardian was regarded by many people as "grossly inappropriate."

Goldring responded: "I do apologise. I was under stress, I'd given many interviews, I'd made many decisions to try to lead Oxfam's response to this. I was thinking about amazing work I've seen Oxfam do across the world, most recently with refugees coming from Myanmar.

"I should not have said those things. It is not for Oxfam to judge issues of proportionality or motivation."