Oxfam, the charity organisation focussed on eradicating global poverty, has recently been trying to navigate its way through a sex scandal. Staff members have been accused of using sex workers while in Haiti in 2011 when they were supposed to be delivering aid. Workers have since admitted that the sex workers that took part in the ‘calligulat orgy’ were in fact under-age.
Senior leaders have since warned that the charity could lose millions of pounds in funding. Ethical questions have since arisen as to whether people would cover up the crimes and the actions of senior staff members of the charity in order to keep funding for the good work they do. The UK government is currently looking at the way it deals with the charity in a bid to try and solve what may be one of the biggest ethical dilemmas of the charity sector in the 21st century.
Oxfam, a charitable organisation that began in 1942, has claimed they had been aware of the allegation prior to newspapers picking up on it. Since then, their deputy chief executive Penny Lawrence resigned, taking full responsibility that “(c)oncerns were raised about the behaviour of staff in Chad as well as Haiti that we failed to adequately act upon”.
Van Hauwermeiren resigned in 2011, after he admitting that prostitutes had visited his villa in Haiti. Speaking about Hauwermeiren a former Chad AID worker said: “They would invite the women for parties. We knew they weren’t just friends but something else.”
Our reaction to sexual misconduct story in Haiti: https://t.co/xPSISBal84
We hope we can rebuild our trust with our supporters who know, as we do, that the actions of a few do not represent all that Oxfam stands for.
— Oxfam International (@Oxfam) February 9, 2018
Oxfam has been exposed as covering up a sex ring of their workers using victims of disaster in Haiti . They were using underage girls as prostitutes . This happened 7 years ago and Oxfam covered it up and allowed people involved to resign to prevent scandal . Where are they now ?
— michael allen (@mikelallen6) February 9, 2018
Like many, I’m disgusted that male Oxfam aid workers abused their power and privilege to buy sexual access to women and children in Haiti but I am struggling to square this with acceptance (outside feminism) of Amnesty’s policy to support the exploitation that is prostitution.
— Karen Ingala Smith (@K_IngalaSmith) February 12, 2018
The charity commission is currently reviewing the charity’s status and nationwide we are all asking if Oxfam should have told the public about these allegations earlier. Should the British public be aware of things like this, in order to know where to ethically donate? Or, is all of this irrelevant. Join us on our social media for a debate about Oxfam and the ethics of donating.