Minnie Driver quits Oxfam after 20 years over Haiti sex scandal

UK aid chief warns charities after Oxfam sex scandal

British actress Minnie Driver has quit her role as celebrity ambassador with Oxfam, sending a firm message to the charity, which is now enveloped by a sex scandal.

Ms Driver, best known for the films Good Will Hunting, Grosse Point Blank and Hope Springs, said although she could not continue her 20 years of involvement with Oxfam, she would work against "social and economic injustice".

"I am very clear: we will not work with any organisation that does not live up to the high standards on safeguarding and protection that we require".

"All I can tell you about this terrible revelation about Oxfam is that I am devastated".

A spokeswoman for the Charities Commission said: "In August 2011, Oxfam made a report to the Commission about an ongoing internal investigation into allegations of misconduct by staff members involved in their Haiti programme".

The Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said that reports of sexual abuse of vulnerable people in Haiti were "disgraceful and disgusting" but he added: "It's not a reason to cut the budget, it's a reason to manage it carefully".

Amid the allegations, Penny Lawrence, deputy chief executive of Oxfam GB resigned on Monday, saying she was "ashamed" by the situation and took "full responsibility".

Oxfam International Executive Director Winnie Byanyima said the charity is not where it needs to be.

Roland van Hauwermeiren, a 68-year-old native Belgian, became the center of global embarrassment for Oxfam after reports in the last week surfaced allegations of orgies with sex workers in Haiti after its quake and hiring prostitutes in war-torn Chad. She said she raised her concerns once and it cost her her job.

Dame Barbara Stocking, head of Oxfam in 2011, told the BBC the charity had a long record of having a good code of conduct.

"Unless you report every serious incident or allegation, no matter how damaging to your reputation - we can not be partners", Britain's International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt told a conference in Stockholm, according to extracts of her speech released by her ministry.

The Thomson Reuters Foundation in November asked 10 leading aid agencies for figures on sex abuse cases, as well as how many staff members were sacked as a result, as sexual harassment scandals hit Hollywood and beyond.

Ms Mordaunt is expected to say: "The sexual exploitation of vulnerable people, vulnerable children, is never acceptable".

Oxfam, the British government-funded charity that has campaigned against corruption and sex abuse in India, has itself been rocked by allegations of corruption and sex abuse, according to media reports.

Oxfam's deputy chief executive resigned yesterday, saying she took "full responsibility" for failing to act immediately in the sexual misconduct scandal involving the charity's workers in Haiti following the 2010 natural disaster. It's what someone who was really sorry would do, so we have to believe that she does regret her mistakes.



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