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Oxfam Condemns Staff Over Sex Reports in Earthquake-hit Haiti

LONDON (Reuters) – Oxfam, one of Britain’s biggest charities, on Friday condemned the behavior of some former staff in Haiti after a newspaper report said aid workers had paid for sex while on a mission to help those affected by the devastating 2010 earthquake.

“The behavior of some members of Oxfam staff uncovered in Haiti in 2011 was totally unacceptable, contrary to our values and the high standards we expect of our staff,” Oxfam said in a statement.

“As soon as we became aware of the allegations we immediately launched an internal investigation,” Oxfam said when asked to comment on a report in The Times newspaper that aid workers had paid prostitutes for sex.

“Allegations that underage girls may have been involved were not proven,” Oxfam said, adding that four members of staff were dismissed as a result of the investigation and three resigned before the end of the investigation.

Reuters could not independently verify the allegations contained in The Times report and was unable to immediately reach any of the Oxfam staff who worked in Haiti.

Oxfam neither confirmed nor denied The Times newspaper report but said its misconduct findings had “related to offences including bullying, harassment, intimidation and failure to protect staff as well as sexual misconduct”.

The Times quoted one unidentified source as saying that Oxfam workers had invited groups of young prostitutes to their guesthouse in Delmas, near Port-au-Prince, for sex parties with some of the sex workers wearing Oxfam T-shirts.

The 2010 earthquake in Haiti killed 220,000 people and left millions more homeless. Prostitution is illegal in Haiti.

The Charity Commission said such allegations risked undermining public trust in charities.

“The public expects charities to be safe and trusted environments that safeguard those who come into contact with them,” a Charity Commission spokeswoman said. “Allegations such as those involving Oxfam staff risk undermining public trust.”

“We will expect the charity to provide us with assurance that it has learnt lessons from past incidents and is taking all necessary steps to safeguard all who come into contact with it,” the Charity Commission spokeswoman said.

Haitian Times

Haitian Times

The Haitian Times was founded in 1999 as a weekly English language newspaper based in Brooklyn, NY.The newspaper is widely regarded as the most authoritative voice for Haitian Diaspora.
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February 9, 2018

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ONE COMMENT ON THIS POST To “Oxfam Condemns Staff Over Sex Reports in Earthquake-hit Haiti”

  1. Well! Haitian people are so vulnerable. Everyone is taking advantage of them. How in the world the Haitian government has not stepped in to condemn such degrading behaviors towards the daughters of the land. This is disgrace and disrespectful. They will never walked out if it was in another country.
    Haiti relies so much on these people, they bowed down to accept anything from them. There should be a structure in place to make sure the citizen of Haiti are traumatized. You never know what type of diseases they are spreading. UN admits role in Cholera in Haiti (https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/18/world/americas/united-nations-haiti-cholera.html) what happened since acknowledging? What is going on? NGOs are flourishing as mushrooms in Haiti because many see opportunities where the people don’t see. They are using the people (some) to better their lives. And yet, they look down at the people. What are the mechanisms the government has in place to make sure they keep these people accountable for what they are receiving on behalf of the people?
    Again, there are many well educated and high skills Haitians who can work. These NGOs bring their own staff, travelling back and forth, and enjoying a salary while the people are running away and facing humiliation to earn a living. I have worked in many Non-Profit Organizations in the States. The NGOs are accountable to the government for every single penny spent. There is something about reporting Admin Cost and Program expenses. I can assist and / or train to develop policies and procedures to have a better control on NGOs. The Haitian government should make it mandatory to prove that they have searched for a qualified candidate to perform the job and they could not find one before providing any work authorization. This is not fair for the people.
    I have a placement agency “Global Minority Labor Solutions, LLC” which I will utilize to help the people find a job especially with all of these agencies. If nothing is done, the country will always be at square one. Not only the government should create jobs. But, we need to maximize all opportunities to assist with job creation. Haiti can develop the “Middle Class” in Haiti where people will be able to wake up in the morning and have somewhere to go earn their livings. That will also create revenue for the government Haitian.

    Too many have been taking advantages of Haitian people. We are like a bunch of “BEKEKE’. Haiti, WAKE UP.

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