Oxfam sex scandal: Director promises justice for victims

Feb 18, 2018, 06:02
Oxfam sex scandal: Director promises justice for victims

Reports that Oxfam staff members sexually exploited people in crisis zones are "a stain" that shames the charity, the organisation's chief said in an interview broadcast Friday.

"From the bottom of my heart, I'm asking for forgiveness".

Oxfam International Executive Director Winnie Byanyima on Friday encouraged victims to come forward, "for justice to be done", saying she was "here for all the women who have been abused".

"We need to make sure anyone guilty of such gross misconduct is not able to move between different organisations, exposing more vulnerable people to risk", said Byanyima.

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said funding would not be considered until her department is satisfied that Oxfam can meet the "high standards" expected.

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"Oxfam do outstanding work all over the world and we firmly believe that the good does still far outweigh the appalling behaviour of the few whose actions have caused such harm".

'They have been poorly served by Oxfam's leadership team too'. "I want them to come forward and for justice to be done for them", she told the BBC.

Mark Goldring, the chief executive of Oxfam GB, claimed critics were "gunning" for his organisation and suggested no-one had "murdered babies in their cots".

And speaking on Question Time on Thursday night former Cabinet minister said the Government "should have asked more questions" of Oxfam after misconduct allegations against aid workers in 2011. I struggle to understand it.

Earlier this week at the NME Awards, Eavis' father, Michael, told the Press Association: "We've raised millions through the years with Oxfam - six million quid and everyone's said what a wonderful charity they are and we still support them".

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"I think that these people should be considered persona non grata", she said of the charity, which spent $15 million on its operations in the country previous year and employs 248 staff.

He also disclosed that one of the men sacked after being accused of using prostitutes was given a job reference from the charity, but it was written by a colleague who was too fired over the allegations.

He said: "I don't think (Oxfam) wanted to promote a sensation and damage the delivery of that programme".

He said his government "is willing and getting ready to take legal action against individuals" involved in the scandal - possibly including van Hauwermeiren and members of his staff.

They are also setting up a global database of accredited referees to ensure sex offenders can not re-offend at other charities, and improving the organisation's "whistleblowing mechanism".

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