United Kingdom threatens charity aid cut-off after Oxfam sex report

Oxfam revelations lead to more accountability for charities

A spokeswoman for the Charities Commission said: "In August 2011, Oxfam made a report to the Commission about an ongoing internal investigation into allegations of misconduct by staff members involved in their Haiti programme".

Secretary of State for International Development Penny Mordaunt has condemned the behaviour of some Oxfam staff members as a "complete betrayal", as she warned the charity the "scandal" had put its relationship with the Government at risk.

An investigation by The Times alleges the charity covered up sexual misconduct by aid workers in Haiti.

Oxfam said it had already taken measures to prevent sexual abuse and misconduct, including the launch of a hotline to report allegations.

United Kingdom officials have said that Oxfam needs to hand over all its information on the issue in order to not lose funding.

Ms Mordaunt's announcement comes as the Observer reports that Oxfam workers allegedly used prostitutes in Chad in 2006.

Charities, including Oxfam, have been told they will have funding withdrawn if they fail to comply with authorities over safeguarding issues.

However, Mordaunt said not disclosing the full picture was "a scandal" and today's meeting was a chance "to see if they are displaying the moral leadership that I think they need to now".

Oxfam said it was "dismayed by what happened" and would fully cooperate with authorities.

Ms Mordaunt said she was writing to all British charities that receive United Kingdom aid to insist they detail the steps they are taking to ensure safeguarding policies are fully in place.

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"People knew in DfID, I raised this directly with my department at the time".

Former global development secretary Priti Patel told BBC Radio 5 Live the Oxfam allegations had not surprised her and said it was "absolutely appalling".

Asked by Andrew Marr whether she felt Oxfam's managers had failed in moral leadership, Ms Mordaunt said: "Yes, I do".

"I have so much respect for Oxfam, they do great work, but this is a sector-wide problem".

"It is utterly despicable that sexual exploitation and abuse continues to exist in the aid sector", Mordaunt said in her overnight statement.

The charity added it will soon deliver a "safeguarding training course for faith organisations, especially churches, so they can understand, recognise and respond to safeguarding issues, and develop a safer culture".

The Charity Commission took no further action but says it would have acted differently had it known all the facts.

"Moreover we received positive references from former Oxfam staff who worked with him, among them a (former) HR person", a spokesman added.

Oxfam's own investigation into the allegations led to four people being fired and three others resigning.

Oxfam has denied allegations that it tried to hide that some of its staff paid prostitutes in the aftermath of the natural disaster.

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