United Kingdom govt to meet Oxfam tomorrow over Haiti prostitutes probe

United Kingdom govt to meet Oxfam tomorrow over Haiti prostitutes probe

United Kingdom govt to meet Oxfam tomorrow over Haiti prostitutes probe

A spokeswoman for the Charities Commission said: "In August 2011, Oxfam made a report to the Commission about an ongoing internal investigation into allegations of misconduct by staff members involved in their Haiti programme".

Oxfam failed in its "moral leadership" in how it handled allegations about sexual misconduct by aid workers in Haiti, Penny Mordaunt has said.

In a further warning to the charity, she told the BBC: "If they do not hand over all the information they have from their investigation and subsequently to the relevant authorities, including the Charity Commission and prosecuting authorities, then I can not work with them any more as an aid delivery partner".

"With regard to Oxfam and any other organisation that has safeguarding issues, we expect them to cooperate fully with such authorities, and we will cease to fund any organisation that does not", she said in a statement.

Groups of young prostitutes were invited to homes and guesthouses paid for by the charity for sex parties, according to one source who claimed to have seen footage of an orgy with sex workers wearing Oxfam t-shirts.

Oxfam is also accused of failing to warn other aid agencies about the staff involved, which allowed them to get jobs among vulnerable people in other disaster areas.

Responding to Mordaunt's comments, Oxfam's Chair of Trustees Caroline Thomson said she shared the "anger and shame that behavior like that highlighted in Haiti in 2011 happened in our organization".

The Charity Commission said on Saturday that it had written to Oxfam "as a matter of urgency" to request further information.

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She said she would meet the charity on Monday to discuss the case, adding: "If the moral leadership at the top of the organisation is not there then we cannot have you as a partner".

If Oxfam doesn't fully cooperate "then I can not work with them anymore as an aid delivery partner", she said. He continued that, "because of that the department did not escalate it to ministers, they did not tell and I was never aware of it".

"People knew in DfID, I raised this directly with my department at the time".

"It is utterly despicable that sexual exploitation and abuse continues to exist in the aid sector", Mordaunt said in her overnight statement.

"They did tell the Charity Commission there was sexually inappropriate behaviour, bullying and harassment of employees, but they did not report that to us".

Save The Children said all 31 abuse allegations took place in foreign countries and that 16 people had been dismissed as a result.

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

Oxfam has denied allegations that it tried to hide that some of its staff paid prostitutes in the aftermath of the natural disaster.

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