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Oxfam faces more sex abuse and prostitution claims from Chad after Haiti
Last Updated: 2018-02-12 07:33 | Xinhua
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The Oxfam, an international anti-poverty charity, which has been hit by a sex abuse scandal in Haiti, now is facing more sex allegations from Chad.

The charity, one of the biggest and best known in Britain, was plunged into crisis after it was revealed that its staff, including its local director, paid for sex in Haiti where they were based in 2011 after a devastating earthquake.

The Sunday Times reported in London that more than 120 aid workers with leading charities in Britain have been accused of sexual abuse in the past year.

The newspaper said the figures fuelled fears that paedophiles were targeting overseas aid organizations.

An investigation by the Times published Friday exposed the Oxfam sex scandal, saying it led to Oxfam's director in Haiti, Belgian national Roland van Hauwermeiren resigning from the organization.

More trouble emerged for Oxfam Sunday when the Observer newspaper in London reported claims that in 2006, aid workers with the charity used prostitutes while working in Chad.

The Observer reported that at the time van Hauwermeiren was head of Oxfam's operation in Chad.

The newspaper said former staff who worked for the charity in Chad alleged that women believed to be prostitutes were repeatedly invited to the Oxfam team house there, with one adding that a senior member of staff had been fired for his behavior in 2006.

Media in Britain reported that Penny Mordaunt, Britain's international development secretary, is to hold a crunch meeting Monday with Oxfam officials.

In a television interview Sunday, Mordaunt accused Oxfam of failing in its moral leadership.

She said she is considering whether Oxfam should receive any more funding from the government's Department for International Development (DFID). Last year, Oxfam received 44 million U.S. dollars from DFID.

Mordaunt, described the events in Haiti as a scandal, and said what is alleged to have happened was a complete betrayal of both the people Oxfam were there to help, and also the people that sent them there to do that job.

She said: "If they (Oxfam) do not hand over all the information that they have from their investigation and subsequently to the relevant authorities including the Charity Commission and prosecuting authorities, then I cannot work with them any more as an aid delivery partner."

Seven Oxfam staff, including van Hauwermeiren, either resigned or were fired as a result of the Haiti scandal.

Haiti's Ambassador in London Bocchit Edmond has criticized Oxfam for failing to inform the country's authorities about the scandal, and said it should publicly apologize.

Priti Patel, Britain's former international development secretary, said in interviews Sunday she had raised the problem of sexual exploitation by workers with NGOs at a meeting of the UN, but she added she was unaware of the Oxfam allegations.

In her interviews she warned predatory paedophiles had been allowed to exploit the aid sector.

The Sunday Times said Oxfam recorded 87 incidents last year of sexual abuse, Save the Children recorded 31, 10 of which were referred to the police and civil authorities, and the charity Christian Aid two. Of the Oxfam cases, 53 were referred to the police or other statutory authorities. A total of 20 staff or volunteers were dismissed. The charity employs 5,000 staff and has a further 23,000 volunteers, said the Observer.

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