Oxfam scandal widens as other abuse cases revealed


Worldwide development secretary Penny Mordaunt said it was "despicable" that sexual exploitation and abuse existed in the aid sector and threatened to cut funding to charities if they fail to comply with authorities over safeguarding issues.

Oxfam has been accused of lacking "moral leadership" by the British Government over misconduct involving prostitutes in Haiti after the 2010 natural disaster. The charity had shown an "absolute absence of leadership", she said.

One unidentified source was quoted 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. "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.

Oxfam said it investigated the allegations in 2011.

Britain has warned Oxfam that it may lose government funding if the anti-poverty charity doesn't hand over all the information it has about a sexual misconduct scandal in Haiti by some of its aid workers.

He insisted that "had the nature of the misdemeanours and allegations been made clear to the Department for International Development, then there is no doubt that I would have been told and of course I would have taken the appropriate action immediately".

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Ms Mordaunt replaced Ms Patel in November, when the latter was forced to resign over secret meetings she held with Israeli officials.

"I was an aid worker, I spent the 90s in Yugoslavia and Rwanda, I spent the 2000s in Pakistan, Afghanistan - I do know the industry very well", he said.

Thompson said she shared the "anger and shame that behavior like that highlighted in Haiti in 2011 happened in our organization".

She said: "In the 21st century, it is utterly despicable that sexual exploitation and abuse continues to exist in the aid sector". A senior member of staff was said to have been fired for his behaviour in 2006.

The newspaper said Roland van Hauwermeiren, who later worked in post-earthquake Haiti, was head of Oxfam's operations in Chad at the time.

Oxfam said it was "shocked and dismayed" by the new Chad claims.