News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Haiti bans "charity" Oxfam Great Britain from operating in Haiti after sexual abuse by Oxfam staff of poverty-striken Haitians. Oxfam had received misconduct claims about two male staff when they worked in Chad but gave them senior roles in Haiti. Oxfam GB Chief Exec and Deputy Chief Exec resigned over handling of Haiti claims which Oxfam reportedly tried to cover up-BBC, Reuters

6/13/18, "Haiti withdraws Oxfam GB's [Great Britain] right to operate after misconduct scandal," Reuters, Port-au-Prince

"Haiti’s government on Wednesday said it was withdrawing Oxfam Great Britain’s right to operate in the Caribbean country after allegations of sexual misconduct by some of the charity’s staff. 

In a statement, three ministries, including the Planning and External Cooperation Ministry, said they were withdrawing Oxfam Great Britain’s status as a non-governmental organisation “for violation of Haitian law and serious violation of the principle of the dignity of the human beings.”
 
The British aid organisation has been rocked by allegations that staff, including a former Haiti country director, used prostitutes during a relief mission after a devastating earthquake hit the island nation in 2010.

In February, Haiti temporarily revoked Oxfam Great Britain’s right to operate in the country.

A spokeswoman for Oxfam in Haiti said the organisation would be releasing a statement on Wednesday about the withdrawal of Oxfam Great Britain’s right to operate in Haiti."
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Added: "Oxfam GB chief executive Mark Goldring announced his resignation last month, saying that someone else should help "rebuild" the group following the scandal."

6/13/18, "Haiti bans Oxfam GB after sexual misconduct scandal," BBC

"Oxfam GB has been banned from operating in Haiti after its staff were accused of sexual misconduct following the 2010 earthquake.

Haiti's government said the decision was taken because of Oxfam's "violation of its laws and serious breach of the principle of human dignity".

Oxfam said it understood the decision, adding that the behaviour of some staff was "completely unacceptable".

Haiti's decision follows a temporary suspension announced in February.

Oxfam said it would continue to work in Haiti through affiliate members from Italy, Spain, and Quebec.

Oxfam has been in Haiti since 1978, and increased its presence after the earthquake. But there have been no Oxfam GB staff in the country since the suspension in February.

Claims first emerged in the Times that staff, including a former country director, used prostitutes while based in Haiti after the earthquake.

Four employees were fired for "gross misconduct" and three others, including the country director Roland Van Hauwermeiren, were allowed to leave the charity.

Mr Van Hauwermeiren denied paying for sex but admitted "making mistakes".

In February, Oxfam offered its "humblest apologies" to Haiti.  

Thousands of people stopped making regular donations to the charity after the scandal emerged.

Responding to the withdrawal of its permission to work in the country, Oxfam GB said: "The behaviour of some former Oxfam staff working in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake was completely unacceptable.

"We have apologised to the government and the Haitian people for what happened."... 

Oxfam GB chief executive Mark Goldring announced his resignation last month, saying that someone else should help "rebuild" the group following the scandal.

Haiti's minister of planning and external cooperation, Aviol Fleurant, said a draft law was being prepared to give the government closer control over foreign charities operating in the country."

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Added:

"The British charity [Oxfam] was accused of concealing the findings of an inquiry into claims staff sexually exploited female victims of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti....Oxfam knew about concerns over the conduct of Mr van Hauwermeiren and another man when they worked in Chad before they were given senior roles in Haiti."

May 15, 2018, "Oxfam chief executive to stand down," BBC

"Oxfam chief executive Mark Goldring is to stand down following the scandal involving claims of sexual misconduct by staff in Haiti, the charity says.

Mr Goldring, who was criticised for his handling of the claims that aid workers used prostitutes in 2011, said someone else should "rebuild" the charity.

He has held the position since 2013 and will leave at the end of the year....

The British charity was accused of concealing the findings of an inquiry into claims staff sexually exploited female victims of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

An Oxfam spokeswoman said his resignation was "absolutely not to do with his handling" of the crisis.

Oxfam chairwoman Caroline Thomson said it was with "great sadness" she accepted his resignation, adding that he "faced the test of a lifetime managing the crisis which hit us in February and related to events before he joined".

Mr Goldring appeared in front of MPs that month, apologising for the actions of staff and also for his own comment to the Guardian that the charity was being attacked as if it had "murdered babies in their cots".

He denied there had been a cover-up and also said he would not step down unless the charity's board lost faith in his leadership.

Oxfam's deputy chief executive, Penny Lawrence, resigned in February over the handling of the claims.

The allegations, reported in The Times, said Oxfam's country director for Haiti, Roland van Hauwermeiren, used the services of prostitutes at a villa rented for him by Oxfam in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake.

According to the paper, Oxfam knew about concerns over the conduct of Mr van Hauwermeiren and another man when they worked in Chad before they were given senior roles in Haiti.

The charity's own investigation in 2011 led to four people being sacked and three others resigning, including Mr van Hauwermeiren.

It produced a public report, which said "serious misconduct" had taken place in Haiti - but did not give details of the allegations.

In announcing his resignation, Mr Goldring said: "Following the very public exposure of Oxfam's past failings, we have redoubled our efforts to ensure that Oxfam is a safe and respectful place for all who have contact with us.

"We are now laying strong foundations for recovery. I am personally totally committed to seeing this phase through....

He will continue to lead the charity until a successor is found."
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Added:

2/28/2018, "A UN report, published in May 2015, found that members of its peacekeeping mission in Haiti traded sex for aid with more than 225 women between 2008 and 2014."..."'Aid staff would pay more': sex workers in Haiti speak out," UK Guardian, Joe Parkin Daniels in Port-au-Prince




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