Oxfam ignored child sex abuse, employed predators

Oxfam has been officially warned over “mismanagement” and criticised for allowing predatory staff to target and sexually abuse children in disaster zones.

The charity has also been criticised for ignoring victims’ complaints.

In a 150-page report, the Charity Commission (a UK watchdog organisation that reports directly to the UK parliament) laid out the outcome of its investigations into Oxfam, exposing what it described as a “culture of poor behaviour”.

The Commission says it heard complaints of Oxfam staff sexually abusing over a dozen under age volunteers in high street charity shops.

It also learned that convicted sex offenders were found working behind some charity shop counters.

The Commission found much to criticise in the way Oxfam – purportedly a “global charity fighting poverty and injustice” – dealt with claims of serious sexual misconduct by its staff in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake.

It found Oxfam failed to act on reports that senior workers were raping Haitian convent girls as young as 12.

The report also says messages from victims sent directly to Dame Barbara Stocking, Oxfam’s former head, were dismissed as fake.

The emails, sent in 2011, claimed to be from a 13-year-old Haitian. She said she and a friend had been forced into prostitution to survive and had been “beaten and used by two men who I know work for you.

“They also have boss who works for you and I have not met, but my young friend, she is 12 (and) has had sex with him.”

The emails arrived as Oxfam was investigating allegations that senior aid workers were paying Haitian girls for sex.

Dame Barbara replied to the sender immediately, promising the allegations would be taken seriously.

However, a member of staff later admitted that after a brief investigation the charity “thought no more of it, to be honest”.

Last year Oxfam was accused of covering up claims staff sexually exploited victims of the 2010 earthquake.

Oxfam accepted the findings, saying what happened in Haiti was “shameful”.

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News category: World.

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