Oxfam representatives met with Britain’s international development department on Monday to consider what further steps needed to be taken over a sexual misconduct scandal in Haiti, after being summoned for a meeting by aid minister Penny Mourdant.
Oxfam, one of Britain’s biggest charities, has condemned the behaviour of some former staff in Haiti after a newspaper report said aid workers paid for sex while on a mission to help those affected by the 2010 earthquake.
Mourdant, Secretary of State for International Development said on Sunday that the UK will cut off aid funding from any organisation that does not comply with a new review into charities work overseas.
A spokesman for Prime Minister Theresa May said the government needed to do more to make charities strengthen safeguarding procedures to ensure the “horrific behaviour” of some members of Oxfam International is not repeated.
Andrew Mitchell, who was the international development minister in 2010, said that Oxfam had reported misconduct to his department at the time, but “did not specify” what they were investigating, and therefore he was not informed.
“Had they done so, I would of course had immediately taken the necessary action to investigate and expose it,” Mitchell said.
Reuters could not independently verify the allegations contained in The Times report and was unable to immediately reach any of the Oxfam staff who worked in Haiti.
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.”