Oxfam, one of Britain's largest, most prestigious charities, has sharply criticized the conduct of some former staff members who operated in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake after a news report revealed that aid workers had solicited sex from local prostitutes.
The Times Report quoted an unidentified source claiming that Oxfam staff members invited young prostitutes to their guesthouse in Delmas, near Port-au-Prince. Some of the invitees allegedly wore Oxfam T-shirts and participated in sex parties.
In response to the report published by The Times, Oxfam released a public statement, which read, “The behavior of some members of Oxfam staff uncovered in Haiti in 2011 was totally unacceptable, contrary to our values and the high standards we expect of our staff.”
They affirmed that “an internal investigation” had been launched as soon as they became “aware of the allegations” and that four staff members had been dismissed and three others resigned before the probe ended.
While Oxfam pointed out that “Allegations that underage girls may have been involved were not proven,” the organization neither confirmed or denied the report, according to Reuters. They did say, however, that misconduct findings included “bullying, harassment, intimidation, and failure to protect staff as well as sexual misconduct.”
Britain's Charity Commission said allegations made against Oxfam were counterproductive in shoring up support for charities. “The public expects charities to be safe and trusted environments that safeguard those who come into contact with them,” a Charity Commission spokeswoman said. “Allegations such as those involving Oxfam staff risk undermining public trust.”