Oxfam unveils action plan after stain of sexual abuse scandal

by Joy Montgomery February 18, 2018, 6:00
Oxfam unveils action plan after stain of sexual abuse scandal

"From the bottom of my heart, I am asking for forgiveness".

She vowed to stand by the organisation "for many more years to come" after a number of high-profile ambassadors withdrew their support amid allegations of sexual exploitation within the charity.

"Oxfam do outstanding work all over the world and we firmly believe that the good does still far outweigh the appalling behaviour of the few whose actions have caused such harm". Certainly, the scale and the intensity of the attacks feels out of proportion to the level of culpability. "You think, My God, there's something going on there'".

He added: "Anything we say is being manipulated. even apologies only make matters worse".

Oxfam said Friday it will set up an independent commission to take a look at the organization's practices, with a mandate to investigate past and present sexual exploitation claims.

It accused the United Kingdom -based charity of covering up an internal inquiry finding that the country director for Chad, Roland van Hauwermeiren, and members of his staff had paid prostitutes for sex in the African country.

He went on to work for French charity Action Against Hunger in Bangladesh.

"This was with an honourable, mature woman, who was not an quake victim nor a prostitute".

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Mr Clarken added: "This review marks the beginning of change for Oxfam as an worldwide organisation - Oxfam Ireland is 100% committed to playing our part and to working with others in government and across the sector to implement urgent reforms that enable us to do more and do better for the world's poorest".

The chief executive, however, then lashed out at Helen Evans, Oxfam's former global head of safeguarding, who recently said she had begged senior staff, ministers and the regulator to act on the sexual abuse allegations. "But I never gave into these advances", he said.

"The hardest thing is that my family has rejected me", he said.

Oxfam has nearly 10,000 staff working in more than 90 countries across the globe.

The government has made three demands of Oxfam: that it produce a plan on how to deal with any forthcoming allegations, that it report any staff members involved in the Haiti scandal and that it fully cooperate with the Haitian authorities.

In response, Oxfam on Friday said it would create a global database of accredited referees to crack down on forged or unreliable references from past or current employees.

Mr Van Hauwermeiren, who left Oxfam in 2011 amid a sexual misconduct inquiry, has denied hiring prostitutes but said he had "intimate relations" with a woman who was "not a prostitute".

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