United Kingdom. Scandals burst at Oxfam


Haiti and Chad were not the only country to suffer the abuses and excesses of certain employees of Oxfam. After a first survey of the Times last week, an investigation of the british channel, Channel 4 revealed on Tuesday that South Sudan and Great Britain would have also been the scene of sexual abuse.

The actress Minnie Driver, ambassador of theNGO, has slammed the door on Tuesday, “horror” by the revelations, reports the BBC.

Helen Evans, director of prevention internal to Oxfam between 2012 and 2015, was terminated in December 2014, in an e-mail to the direction of theNGO cited by Channel 4, “a culture of sexual abuse within some of the offices of Oxfam”. It was based on an informal internal survey of 120 people in three countries.

Among those surveyed, between 11 and 14 % “had witnessed a rape or had been victims of rape ” or ” attempted rape”, four of which are in South Sudan, according to Mme Evans, interviewed by the british channel.

It has also revealed many cases of abuse of volunteers minors by adults in shops, Oxfam Great Britain, and denounced the fact that‘“Oxfam does not check criminal records” adults with the support of the young volunteers.

Lack of responsiveness

In the interview, she also deplores the lack of responsiveness of the governing bodies of theNGO, despite multiple warnings.

The director-general of Oxfam, Mark Goldring, has acknowledged on Channel 4 that he had “not acted quickly enough”, but has assured, however, have taken the question “serious” and measures have been taken.

But there are voices calling for his resignation, like the british parliamentarian Nigel Evans, who said the Times : “It is part of the problem, not the solution. Let somebody else clean up the organisation”. The deputy executive director, Penny Lawrence, had resigned on Monday.

The Times, who was the first to lift the veil on the scandal, also revealed that in the night from Tuesday to Wednesday as Roland van Hauwermeiren, one of the officers who admitted to have had recourse to prostitutes during his missions in Chad and Haiti, had already raged in Liberia before joining Oxfam in 2006.

From 2002 to 2004, he was responsible for the mission of theNGO Merlin in Monrovia, and according to one of his colleagues quoted by the daily, its “mode of life” was “similar to the one observed in Haiti,”.

“Those who complained to Merlin of his actions in Liberia were shocked to read last week that Mr. Van Hauwermeiren was able to return to the world of humanitarian relief and remain in that position as long”, wrote the Times.

In the wake of the revelations, the haitian president, Jovenel Moses, has denounced “an extremely serious breach of human dignity”, while the british government “announced that he was going to create a unit to investigate sexual abuse in the sector of humanitarian aid”, according to The Telegraph.

Irony of the calendar, the disgrace of Oxfam has also been extended to Latin America, with the arrest Tuesday of its international director, Juan Alberto Fuentes Knight, in the course of an investigation of corruption, opened in 2015 in Guatemala, reports Hora. At the time of the facts, Mr. Fuentes Knight minister of Finance to the president of Guatemala. The latter, now ex-president, has also been arrested with a dozen of his former ministers.

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