The non-governmental organization Oxfam has been embroiled in a scandal after the British newspaper The Times published on Friday that some of its workers hired prostitutes in Haiti during the post-earthquake relief operation in 2010. The NGO, which receives 340 million euros a year from British government funds and public donations, has acknowledged that there was an internal investigation and that several people have been dismissed for these events. The internal report of the humanitarian organization “did not rule out the existence of minors among the exploited,” according to The Times.
After the earthquake that devastated Haiti in 2010, a senior official of the organization hired young prostitutes. The publication cites a source who claimed to have seen images of an orgy in which sex workers had Oxfam shirts. According to his account, groups of young prostitutes were invited to homes and lodgings paid by the organization for sexual parties.
According to the newspaper, Oxfam opened an internal investigation in 2011 that determined that there was a “culture of impunity” among some employees but they were unable to know if any of the prostitutes were minors. According to The Times, Oxfam country director Roland van Hauwermeiren resigned without any disciplinary action, although he allegedly admitted hiring prostitutes. In addition, two more workers left their jobs and four were dismissed, but the Haitian authorities were not informed and no legal action was taken.
Written by Laura Kabelka