Breaking News: Oxfam releases its 2011 internal investigation into sexual misconduct of its employees in Haiti

Posted by on Monday, February 19, 2018 Under: Haiti Breaking News
Oxfam Haiti scandal: Suspects 'physically threatened' witnesses

A full copy of Oxfam’s final internal report into allegations of sexual misconduct and other unacceptable behavior during Oxfam’s humanitarian response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake has been made public today.

Oxfam, which has been going through a public relations nightmare since the British newspaper the Times published an explosive investigative story showing how some of the organization's staff used donated money to paid for "orgies" with prostitutes in Haiti and some of them may had been under age, is finally publishing the report written in 2011, "in order to be as transparent as possible about the decisions made during the investigation and in recognition of the breach of trust that has been caused." according to a press note on the official Oxfam's website

Winnie Byanyima, Oxfam International’s Executive Director, said “Oxfam is urgently committed to act upon the moral responsibilities we have towards women in Haiti. We are also meeting with the Government of Haiti to apologise for our mistakes and discuss what more we can do. It is vitally important we re-examine what happened, and learn from it.

“The measures we put in place as a result of the investigation mean that the case would be handled differently today, but it is clear that there is much more to be done. The action we are now taking, including an independent review of our culture and practices by women’s rights leaders, will help ensure abuse is rooted out of Oxfam and help us become more effective in our mission to help create lasting solutions to poverty.”

Some of the names in the report made available to news organizations were redacted; names and identifying characteristics to comply with the need for due process and confidentiality required by both privacy law and recommended UN guidelines on the issue of sexual exploitation and abuse. The full, un-redacted report has been shared with the Haitian Ambassador in London, Bocchit Edmond and a copy will be given to the Haitian government in a meeting with Haiti's President Jovenel Moise, on Monday, February 19, 2018. Oxfam have informed the relevant national authorities of the names of the seven men involved in sexual misconduct so they can take the appropriate measures they see fit.     

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According to the internal report,  then Country Director, Roland van Hauwermeiren, who is at the center of the scandal, admitted to using prostitutes in his Oxfam paid residence.  After further discussion Oxfam accepted his resignation and allowed him a "phased and dignified exit.".

During his first interview since the scandal broke, last week, the 68 year old Belgian denied organizing orgies or visiting brothels in Haiti, saying he told Oxfam he had engaged in "intimate relations some three times" at his home but did not pay for these liaisons. 

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The internal report also reveals that witnesses (whose names were redacted ) were physically threatened and intimidated by three of the men involved in the scandal; their names were also blackened out.

Click here to read the redacted report.

In : Haiti Breaking News