Oxfam loses support for staffers forcing sex work in Haiti, Chad

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UK-based charity, Oxfam reels in scandal after staff in two impoverished, black countries were accused of sexual misconduct.

Volunteers and employees paid sex workers and forced Haitians to trade sex for aid during the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake. Four employees were fired, while three resigned.

One of those who left was the former country director Roland van Hauwermeiren, who was said to leave a previous post in 2004 at an international non-profit called Merlin, for conducting sex parties with women in Liberia.

Roland van Hauwermeiran, former Oxfam director linked to gross sexual abuses and exploitation. The 68-year-old van Hauwermeiren said in an open letter that the allegations about his conduct in Haiti were false; though he did engage in a consensual relationship with a local woman.

According to the Evening Standard, Oxfam covered up the allegations by allowing van Hauwermeiran to leave quietly.

Evening Standard

Among those involved was said to be Mr van Hauwermeiren, Oxfam’s country director at the time, who was offered “a phased and dignified exit” because the charity believed sacking him would have “potentially serious implications” for its reputation, according to The Times.

Since, Merlin merged with Save the Children organization. According to The Guardian van Hauwermeiren worked in Chad in 2006 then Haiti in 2010 after leaving Merlin for Oxfam. After leaving Oxfam, he worked for Action Against Hunger in Bangladesh.

While Oxfam regional directory, Simon Ticehurst flew to Haiti to officially apologize to government officials this week, the organization is dealing with the emergence of another van Hauwermeiran sex scandal in Chad.


Abuses Against the Most Vulnerable

Information of Chad still emerges, but there are early reports of sex parties like Liberia. As well as the involvement of under-aged girls.

Oxfam shop- a charity store where donations are sold for overseas aid

Now the organization that raised millions of dollars with the help of celebrities such as the Stand as One campaign concert headlined by Coldplay, might lose all of its government funding.

All the while, 16 celebrity ambassadors have already removed themselves from Oxfam in the wake of scandal.

Penny Mordaunt, Oxfam’s international development secretary, now works closely with the National Crime Agency to ensure that its mission, to help impoverished and structural disenfranchised regions of the world, can continue.

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