Charity Commission opens statutory inquiry into Oxfam over Haiti abuse


The Charity Commission's deputy chief executive David Holdsworth said: "Charities and dedicated, hard-working aid workers undertake vital, lifesaving work in some of the most hard circumstances across the world".

Some NGO managers are accused of having hired young prostitutes in Haiti in 2011 during a mission following the quake that had ravaged the country in 2010. Maybe the scandal will even trigger a long-overdue debate about the limits of foreign aid.

Oxfam's leaders in Haiti are expected to be called in for crisis talks with Mr Moise's government as it considers its response.

Oxfam says it would not have provided a positive reference for any of those who were dismissed or resigned.

The Times of London reported Friday that misconduct allegations against seven former Oxfam staff in Haiti included the use of prostitutes - some of whom may have been under 18 - and downloading pornography.

Oxfam was under threat of losing its British government funding after a newspaper report said its staff paid for sex while in Haiti to help those affected by a 2010 quake.

"It is now clear that these allegations - involving the use of prostitutes and which related to behaviour of both the Country Director and members of his team in Chad - were raised before he moved to Haiti", Lawrence said in the statement. It said significant improvements had been made since 2011.

The UK now spends £13bn on aid each year and there have always been calls from some Conservative MPs for cuts to this budget.

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The allegations surrounding Britain's best-known charity Oxfam only seem to deepen with each passing day.

"We are horrified by recent reports relating to Haiti". It said it also met with her again in 2017 "and based on this we opened a formal regulatory compliance case with the charity which has been ongoing since that time". "I understand that people who hear this say: I can not support this".

"This unit will be wide-ranging and comprehensive in its remit, looking at safeguarding across United Kingdom and global charities, suppliers and the UN and multilateral organizations so that together we can make progress".

She also wrote to all United Kingdom charities working overseas to insist they give her specific assurances that they have reported everything untoward to the relevant authorities.

It comes after an earlier meeting with the International Development Secretary in an effort to protect Oxfam's funding from being cut.

Too many agencies prefer a neo-colonialist model of setting up offices in situ and of running the whole show as "white saviours", earning large salaries and acting, as one anonymous informant from the Oxfam scandal said, "like small gods".

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said she was taking the issue "very seriously" but would not rush into deciding on whether to pull Government funding from the charity.

He said in a statement CAFOD has "robust safeguarding and whistle-blowing policies and practices in place to ensure that vulnerable people are protected", but said the organization is committed to "regularly reviewing our procedures". Mordaunt also said no government could partner with an organization that did not "have the moral leadership to do the right thing".