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More than 120 aid workers accused of sexual assault

More than 120 aid workers accused of sexual assault

Penny Mordaunt, the Secretary of State for International Development, also accused Oxfam of a failure of "moral leadership'".

Oxfam, one of Britain's biggest charities, on Friday condemned the behaviour of some former staff in Haiti after a newspaper report said aid workers had paid for sex while on a mission to help those affected by a 2010 quake.

Ms Mordaunt said she had written to all United Kingdom charities that receive aid from the Government and asked them to explain the measures they took to implement safeguarding measures.

Mordaunt added she will also demand all donors and development organisations show leadership and take action on the matter at the global End Violence Solutions Summit in Stockholm next week.

She added that Oxfam staff had come forward with concerns about the recruitment and vetting of workers involved in the scandal.

The Times of London on Friday published a report with details of a leaked internal investigation of the alleged payment for sex with young women, possibly including under-age girls, by Oxfam staff in Haiti.

However, some went on to senior roles at other charities that were not informed of their reasons for leaving Oxfam, it was reported.

'What I'm apologising for is that nine Oxfam staff behaved in a way that was totally unacceptable and contrary to our values, and that led much more responsible staff to make decisions which are now seen by some as being marginal or inappropriate.

"The horrific behaviour by some members of Oxfam staff in Haiti in 2011 is an example of a wider issue on which DFID is already taking action, both at home and with the global community via the United Nations".




The apology comes as the Department of worldwide development, which a year ago gave Oxfam more than £30 million, said it will review whether or not to continue to fund the charity.

She said: "In the 21st century, it is utterly despicable that sexual exploitation and abuse continues to exist in the aid sector.

They still have information they should be giving to the authorities", she told the BBC's Andrew Marr show.

"The way this appalling abuse of vulnerable people was dealt with raises serious questions that Oxfam must answer". Her department had not been told in 2011 about the nature of the events reported to have taken place in Haiti, although some details were disclosed to the charities regulator.

She said it had made big changes since the original incident but that today I commit that we will improve further.

Ms Mordaunt replied: 'Well, quite'.

In a further warning, she said: "If they do not hand over all the information that they have from their investigation and subsequently to the relevant authorities, including the Charity Commission and prosecuting authorities, then I can not work with them any more as an aid delivery partner".

Former global development secretary Priti Patel told BBC Radio 5 Live the Oxfam allegations had not surprised her and said it was "absolutely appalling".

The Oxford-based charity allowed three men to resign and sacked four others for gross misconduct following investigations, according to the Times.

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