UK Charity Commission launches probe into Oxfam scandal

Oxfam sex abuse scandal

Ms Evans said staff had been accused of rape and that sexual abuse by shop managers in United Kingdom stores against young volunteers was covered up.

Charities may be covering up cases of sexual abuse and exploitation over fears that a public backlash could hit donations, aid experts said on Monday in the wake of a sex scandal involving Oxfam, one of Britain's biggest charities.

In some of the most explosive allegations yet against the charity, Helen Evans accused her bosses of ignoring her evidence and her pleas for more resources, forcing her to quit in despair.

Prime Minister Theresa May's spokesman said the government needed to do more to ensure charities strengthened safeguarding procedures to ensure the "horrific behaviour" seen in Haiti was not repeated.

This had followed a confidential survey her safeguarding team had undertaken among staff in three country operations in Africa.

He added: 'Jersey Overseas Aid are aware of the allegations of sexual exploitation involving Oxfam staff during their response to the Haiti natural disaster.

She also wanted charities to ensure any historical concerns have been properly dealt with, and spell out their policies for handling such cases.

In an interview with Channel 4 News Helen Evans said that staff had been accused of rape; that abuse by United Kingdom shop managers had been covered up and that staff had not gone through the correct vetting procedures. Similar allegations have been made against at least one employee when he worked.

UK Oxfam received 1.7 million euros from European funding in 2011, which is the date of the reproachable acts, indicated the spokesperson.

"If the moral leadership at the top of the organization isn't there, then we can't have [Oxfam] as a partner", Mordaunt told the BBC Monday ahead of a meeting with the organization's leaders.

Evans also spoke about the "inappropriate conduct" towards teenage volunteers working in Oxfam's United Kingdom charity shops.

In a statement on Friday, Oxfam neither confirmed nor denied The Times newspaper report but said its misconduct findings had "related to offences including bullying, harassment, intimidation and failure to protect staff as well as sexual misconduct".

Lawrence, who was program director since 2010, said she was ashamed for what happened in her watch, both in Haiti as in Chad, country in which its missioners also hired those services.

The charity now faces a battle to "rebuild the public trust" following crisis talks with the Government over future funding, its chief executive Mark Goldring has said. I think we did take them seriously and we responded on many different fronts - the records-checking was one of them, training was another, the promotion of the helpline was another.

"What I recognise now, with the severity of issues as they have emerged, is that we should have resourced that team up faster, as we now have, indeed, done".

"We are also cognisant of the critical nature of the work that our staff do, not just in the delivery of lifesaving aid, but also in the relationships they develop and foster with the people we work with. And possibly Oxfam executives have broken the law by aiding, abetting and supporting".



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