Oxfam launches action plan to improve safeguarding

Oxfam is just the tip of the iceberg

Oxfam is just the tip of the iceberg

He has apologised over the incident - but his interview published Friday was at odds with comments by the charity's global head who urged victims of abuse to come forward, and said that the exploitation was a stain that shames the charity.

British charity Oxfam on Friday unveiled an action plan to tackle sexual misconduct following the "stain" of a prostitution scandal although the man at the centre of the allegations denied organising orgies.

Oxfam's plan to strengthen its safeguarding systems includes a new independent high-level commission on sexual misconduct, accountability and culture change, which the charity said would involve leading women's rights experts.

A woman employed by Oxfam has described how she was physically abused and assaulted on two occasions whilst working for the charity.

The reforms include more than doubling the number of people working in Oxfam's safeguarding processes, while more than tripling the annual funding to £720,000.

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United Kingdom -based Oxfam has been rocked by allegations that senior staff working in Haiti after the country's 2010 natural disaster faced misconduct allegations, including using prostitutes and downloading pornography.

Oxfam ambassador and British actress Minnie Driver (among others) resigned, following sexual-misconduct allegations.

Oxfam says it investigated the case, fired four workers and let three others resign, but the British government and charity regulators have criticized its lack of transparency.

The charity's former director in Haiti, Roland van Hauwermeiren, at the centre of the scandal, is reported to have hit out at "many lies and exaggerations" but said he did not "deny everything".

Indeed had their atrocious behaviour not been exposed in the Press, we may never have known and happily continued donating our money to assist in the propagation of this revolting behaviour. "And I did not give her any money", he said, adding that he was however "deeply ashamed" of the liaison.

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"The hardest thing is that my family has rejected me", he said.

It has led the British government to threaten cutting funds to organisations that cover-up sex scandals.

The charity admitted yesterday it rehired one of those sacked in Haiti just months later and is now checking whether any complaints were subsequently made.

Also Tuesday, Britain's charity watchdog opened an inquiry into how Oxfam handled the allegations of sexual abuse in Haiti in 2011.

"He took advantage of me and he took advantage of the situation", she told the Daily Mail.

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"This review marks the beginning of change for Oxfam as an worldwide organisation - Oxfam Ireland is 100% committed to playing our part and to working with others in government and across the sector to implement urgent reforms that enable us to do more and do better for the world's poorest".

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