Oxfam admits 'serious error' after re-hiring man sacked over Haiti misconduct


Aid group Doctors Without Borders said it had acted on 24 cases of harassment or sexual abuse previous year as British charity Oxfam faces a storm over its handling of a sex scandal.

The charity has admitted to a lack of transparency over an internal investigation about the use of prostitutes by staff in Haiti, who were there to assist the country's recovery after a 2010 quake. "And it needs to change now", she said.

That men could be exploiting some of the most vulnerable people in the poorest country in the Americas, all the while being paid to advocate for their wellbeing, is a hypocrisy not lost on Josefine [a onetime Oxford employee who made an accusation against Van Hauwermeiren].

But she said her name remained on the charity's website because she wanted to show gratitude and support for what they try to do.

"As soon as the allegations were reported via Oxfam's whistleblowing line, they were investigated and the individual was dismissed".

The Times newspaper first published details of Oxfam's 2011 inquiry into the allegations, which were never fully disclosed to the public and have now fuelled suspicion of a cover-up. "Underage girls, maybe 16, 17 years old, used to come to the office and ask for him all the time".

In an open letter to Belgian media on Thursday, Mr van Hauwermeiren said he resigned because he failed to control rumours about sexual misconduct by Oxfam staff.

Tutu was also saddened that the allegations would tarnish the good work achieved by many thousands of people working for Oxfam, it added. She wrote on Twitter that "Haiti wasn't an isolated incident".

Britain has threatened to stop funding overseas aid agencies if they don't learn the lessons from Oxfam's sex abuse scandal. One case she detailed involved an adult volunteer assaulting a child volunteer. Or to the British people - who they've conned and let down.

In some of the most explosive allegations yet against the charity, Helen Evans accused her bosses of ignoring her evidence and her pleas for more resources, forcing her to quit in despair.

It said in a statement that it had acted on 24 of these cases, firing 19 employees as a result. Lawrence was global programmes director from 2006 to 2014, when she became deputy chief executive.

In updated numbers on Tuesday, MSF, which employs 42,000 people, said 20 people were sacked in 2017 for sexual abuse or harassment, and 10 people the year before.

Meanwhile, Oxfam said that it was "too early to tell the impact of the crisis" on donations, but revealed 1,270 people cancelled their direct debits between Saturday and Monday - nearly double the average of 600 cancellations per month.