Oxfam Aid Workers Face Further Allegations of Sexual Exploitation and Mismanagement

In 2018, it was revealed by The Times that sexual exploitation by Oxfam workers in Haiti, in 2010–11, had been covered up. But despite being recently cleared to apply for Government aid funds Oxfam is again facing allegations of bullying, mismanagement, and sexual exploitation by senior managers, this time in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Though whistle-blowers claim to have been raising concerns about the conduct of Oxfam employees in the DRC since 2015, the inquiry only began in November 2020. The inquiry commenced when the Thomson Reuters Foundation and The New

Oxfam Aid Workers Face Further Allegations of Sexual Exploitation and Mismanagement_Coleman Legal_Source Sky News

Humanitarian named Oxfam as one of the charities it was investigating in relation to a “sex for jobs” scandal among aid workers operating in the DRC during the ebola crisis. The inquiry is being carried out by the international consultancy Oscao, who are reporting into Oxfam’s safeguarding unit in Oxford.

Oxfam employs 273 staff in the DRC and has been operating there since 1961. They work primarily on water and sanitation projects for vulnerable communities. Allegations about the behaviour of Oxfam staff in the DRC were brought to the leaders of the charity in February 2021 by way of a ten-page letter. The letter was signed by over 22 current and past Oxfam staff and contained allegations against 11 employees, the majority of whom held management roles. The letter claimed threats had been made against the lives of the whistleblowers and their families, it referred to incidences of sexual harassment of female staff and interns and it also referred to extensive corruption in the granting of local contracts for transport, accommodation, and consultancy work. Following recent contact by The Times regarding the inquiry Oxfam has suspended two aid workers.

Also in in February 2021 the UK Charity Commissioner reported that Oxfam had reformed extensively and had completed a three year period of regulation following the issues that arose in Haiti. This surprised the whistleblowers as the allegations relating to the issues with behaviour in the DRCC were outstanding and the investigation is ongoing, this in turn led to their letter being released to journalists. A spokesperson for Oxfam has stated “We are working hard to conclude the investigation fairly, safely and effectively”

How can we help?

Coleman Legal is taking High Court actions on behalf of victims of sexual abuse cases. Coleman Legal specialise in the area of sexual abuse law, acting on behalf of the survivors. 

Coleman Legal fully understands and appreciates that any form of abuse is extremely distressing. We deal with each case on a personal, one-to-one basis with compassion, empathy and understanding. Cases of this nature are civil actions which seek monetary compensation for the pain and suffering inflicted upon the complainants as a result of the abuse.

Our dedicated team has extensive experience with claims relating to Sexual Abuse and Harassment. If you have experienced sexual abuse or have been abused in a similar circumstances, please contact Diane Treanor either by email or freephone us on 1800 844 104.

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