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Oxfam rapped for failures over Haiti child sex claims

Resigned: Ronald van Hauwermeiren

OXFAM has received an official warning after a damning report found allegations that staff working in disaster zones sexually abused children were not fully disclosed.

There was ‘a culture of poor behaviour’ among staff for the charity’s British arm sent to help victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the Charity Commission has found.

Allegations concerned staff using child prostitutes, including at Oxfam premises, and that safeguarding measures to protect the vulnerable were inadequate. The report said Oxfam failed to adequately investigate allegations that children of 12 or 13 were victims of sexual misconduct by a charity ‘boss’, and senior staff were dealt with more leniently than their juniors.

Oxfam accepted the report’s findings and said it was ‘deeply sorry’ for its ‘shameful’ actions.

Claims emerged in The Times last year that former Oxfam Haiti director Ronald van Hauwermeiren had used young prostitutes. He was among three people to resign. Four were sacked.