UK charity Oxfam is under scrutiny in the wake of a scandal surrounding the sexual misconduct of aid workers based in Haiti following the 2011 earthquake, which killed roughly 200,000 people.
The Charity Commission has opened an inquiry into allegations that multiple senior members of Oxfam staff hired prostitutes while in Haiti and that the charity attempted to conceal these incidents from the UK government, from which it receives tens of millions of pounds in funding yearly.
On Monday, Oxfam’s deputy chief executive, Penny Lawrence, resigned over the charity’s response to the issues. Since the original allegations, others have also come to light such as the sexual misconduct and exploitation among aid workers in other countries such as Chad, as well as several claims of child abuse in Oxfam shops across the UK.
This all follows whistleblower Helen Evans, who worked as Oxfam’s global head of safeguarding from 2012 to 2015. Evans said that an Oxfam aid worker partook in coercing a woman to have sex “in exchange for aid” in an interview for Channel 4.
Ms Evans, who is now a Labour councillor in Oxford, also tweeted that in just one month, she had received three allegations of child abuse in Oxfam shops, claims of sexual exploitation against aid beneficiaries, alongside other overseas allegations.
After taking her concern to Oxfam’s trustees, Evans had to fight to be heard and for any action to be taken, which later resulted in her resignation in 2015. Similarly, she was disappointed by The Charity Commission’s lack of response in 2015.
Since the scandal, the charity’s government funding has been threatened and other allegations are slowly coming to light.