Oxfam allegations are an urgent call for reform

Oxfam allegations are an urgent call for reform

Oxfam allegations are an urgent call for reform

British actor Minnie Driver has become the first celebrity ambassador of Oxfam to quit their role over the sex scandal engulfing the charity.

LONDON, Feb 12 (Reuters) - The deputy head of Oxfam resigned on Monday over what she said was the British charity's failure to adequately respond to past allegations of sexual misconduct by some of its staff in Haiti and Chad.

Oxfam's Deputy Chief Executive Penny Lawrence resigned on Monday over the handling of the scandal and the United Kingdom government threatened to cut funding to the charity's projects.

Ms Driver, who had travelled to Cambodia and Thailand with the charity, said she would continue to fight economic and social injustice.

However, she added that the "abhorrent mistakes of a troubling organization" would not stop her in her charity work.

Although Oxfam seemed to have dismissed the behavior, critics have pointed out that the optics suggest that charity workers were exchanging life-saving aid for sex. Three other staff members, including the country director Roland van Hauwermeiren, resigned before the end of a 2011 investigation into the Haiti incidents.

Oxfam Great Britain is part of Oxfam International, a global confederation of 20 affiliates, which includes Oxfam Canada and Oxfam Quebec.

One of these workers went on to work at the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD), which is the official Catholic aid agency for England and Wales.

It added that it had not received any reports of wrongdoing from Bangladesh, where van Hauwermeiren worked until 2014, but has "begun a process to closely scrutinize the time he was employed by us".

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He said: "We expect our partner organisations wherever they are to monitor their work closely, and to be open, honest and transparent with us, and the public whenever there are any suggestions of abuse or malpractice".

The charity is at the centre of allegations that staff working for Oxfam in Haiti and other countries paid vulnerable people for sex.

"Unless you safeguard everyone your organisation comes into contact with, including beneficiaries, staff and volunteers, we will not fund you", Mordaunt told a conference attended by representatives of development agencies in Stockholm.

"From that conversation I had with Oxfam Quebec and Oxfam Canada on their procedures or their processes, I was very satisfied with what I heard", Ms. Bibeau said an interview Tuesday.

Corporate sponsors like Visa and M&S said they were "monitoring" the situation, according to the Telegraph.

The scandal has led to the resignation of Oxfam's deputy head and has thrown into question government funding for the charity, which amounted to around £32 million (36 million euros, $44 million) past year.

"We have robust safeguarding and whistle-blowing policies and practices in place to ensure that vulnerable people are protected", he said.

Evans told Channel 4 of a survey conducted during her 2012-2015 tenure that exposed a "culture of sexual abuse" in some Oxfam offices.

Oxfam also confirmed 52 safeguarding incidents occurred within its trading retail division previous year, and a former Oxfam volunteer manager told HuffPost of her fears abuse could "absolutely" take place in shops.

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