Haiti bans Oxfam GB following sex scandal

The charity will no longer be allowed to operate in the country

Oxfam Great Britain has been banned from operating in Haiti
(Image credit: 2010 Getty Images)

The government of Haiti has announced a ban on Oxfam GB, following allegations of sexual misconduct by a number of the charity’s workers.

In a statement, it said Oxfam’s status as a non-government organisation would be withdrawn “for violation of Haitian law and serious violation of the principle of the dignity of the human beings”.

The charity suspended work in Haiti in February.

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While it was “disappointed”, it said, it also “understands the Haiti Government’s decision”.

The charity added: “The behaviour of some former Oxfam staff working in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake was completely unacceptable. We have apologised to the government and the Haitian people for what happened.”

An Oxfam report, written in 2011 and made public this year, revealed that “the group's then-country director, Roland van Hauwermeiren, had admitted paying for sex and that three staff members had physically threatened a witness”, The Telegraph reports.

Four employees of the charity were fired for “gross misconduct”, while three others – including van Hauwermeiren – were allowed to resign.

Oxfam GB chief executive Mark Goldring also later tendered his resignation. He is set to step down at the end of 2018, to allow someone else to “rebuild” the organisation.

Oxfam International said it would “continue to work in Haiti through affiliate members from Italy, Spain, and Quebec”, the BBC reports.

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