Statement responding to allegations in today’s Times that Oxfam failed to warn other NGOs not to re-employ those guilty of sexual misconduct in Haiti

We are appalled that individuals found guilty of sexual misconduct in Haiti were unwittingly employed by other aid agencies. We strongly believe that anyone engaged in such reprehensible behavior should be barred from working with vulnerable communities.

Oxfam has not and would not provide a positive reference for any of those who were dismissed or resigned as a result of the Haiti case. While there is nothing we can do to stop individuals falsifying references or getting colleagues to provide a reference in a personal capacity, there is clearly more that can and should be done to ensure that individuals who are found to be guilty of sexual misconduct do not continue to find work in the sector. 

We are keen to work with other NGOs and donors, to put in place a system that would enable us to warn other organisations not to hire people who have been found guilty of sexual misconduct, while meeting the requirements of the many different legal jurisdictions in which we work. A sector-wide approach is needed, as it would be impossible for any one organization to effectively communicate with thousands of different NGOs working in countries right across the globe.

Oxfam reviewed and strengthened its policies and practices in regard to safeguarding in the wake of the Haiti case. However we know we have more to do to prevent harassment, abuse and exploitation and we are fully committed to doing this in an open and transparent manner and as a matter of urgency.

Notes to editors: 

Further Oxfam statements on the allegations made by the Times can be found here and here.

Contact information: 

For further information please contact Tricia O'Rourke on 07850 920258 or torourke1@oxfam.org.uk

For upates, please follow @Oxfam.