Oxfam International director 'sorry' over charity's Haiti sex scandal

World

Published: 2018-02-16 12:13

Last Updated: 2018-02-16 12:15


Winnie Byanyima, the executive director of Oxfam International. Photograph: Gian Ehrenzeller/EPA
Winnie Byanyima, the executive director of Oxfam International. Photograph: Gian Ehrenzeller/EPA
Roya News Source

Oxfam International's executive director, Winnie Byanyima, has promised to root out any wrongdoing in the charity and to provide justice for anyone offended by its staff, after the organization was involved in a sex scandal that came to light last month.

Byanyima apologized for the scandal in an interview with the BBC, in which she discussed the accusation that some of the charity’s workers had hired prostitutes, including minors, while delivering aid in Haiti in 2011.

“I’m appointing a high-level, independent commission that will look into our culture and our practices and make recommendations to make us stronger at protecting our people,” she said.

“We are going to create a vetting system. I’m really inviting anyone who has been a victim of abuse by anyone in our organization to come forward. I’m here for all the women who have been abused; I want them to come forward and for justice to be done for them,” she added.

Byanyima told the BBC that “I know we have a problem,” but insisted that the majority of Oxfam International’s 10,000 staff were “people of values.”

An inquiry has been launched into the Oxfam International scandal.

Michelle Russell, the director of investigations at the Charity Commission, said: “Acting in the public interest as regulator, this inquiry must and will establish the facts about what the charity knew about events in Haiti in 2011, and how it responded at the time and since.”

As reported by the BBC, the inquiry will examine the charity’s “case records, its handling of the Haiti allegations and the extent of its knowledge of similar claims against staff in countries such as Chad and Liberia, predating Haiti.”