The DEMOCRAT

* This story is not local apart from the fact that large numbers of readers of The DEMOCRAT will have contributed to helping the people of Haiti through charities and churches. But we thought it only right you should know about it. Shocking, sickening and depressing doesn’t cut it.

Minister orders Oxfam to hand over files on Haiti prostitute scandal

Roland van Hauwermeiren, Oxfam country director for Haiti, admitted using prostitutes after the disaster in Port-au-Prince
Roland van Hauwermeiren, Oxfam country director for Haiti, admitted using prostitutes after the disaster in Port-au-Prince.

February 9, 2018 – The government has ordered Oxfam to hand over files on charity staff who paid for sex in earthquake-torn Haiti. The demand follows an investigation by The Times that revealed Oxfam covered up the use of prostitutes by senior aid workers.

Matt Hancock, the culture secretary who is responsible for charity regulation, said: “These allegations are deeply shocking and Oxfam must now provide the Charity Commission with all the evidence they hold of events that happened in Haiti as a matter of urgency.

“The reported historic behaviour of senior aid workers is abhorrent and completely unacceptable. Charities must ensure that they have the highest standards of transparency and safeguarding procedures in place to protect vulnerable people and maintain the trust of the public.”

Times investigation found that Oxfam, which receives £300 million a year in British government funds and public donations, allowed three men to resign and sacked four for gross misconduct after an inquiry into sexual exploitation, the downloading of pornography, bullying and intimidation.

A confidential report by the charity said that there had been “a culture of impunity” among some staff in Haiti and concluded that children may have been among those sexually exploited by aid workers. The 2011 report stated: “It cannot be ruled out that any of the prostitutes were under-aged.”

The revelations have caused international concern and triggered widespread coverage in the press throughout Europe. This morning Liz Truss, the chief secretary to the Treasury, called the revelations “shocking, sickening and depressing”.

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