Health Care

Charity reveals doctors sacked over abuse

Charity reveals doctors sacked over abuse

Global aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) said on Wednesday it had dealt with 24 cases of sexual harassment or abuse among its 40,000 staff a year ago, and dismissed 19 people as a result.

Britain will stop funding overseas aid agencies if they fail to learn the lessons from Oxfam's scandal, and the government will discuss possible prosecutions with law enforcement, the British development minister said on Wednesday.

Oxfam's Regional Director for Asia Lan Mercado told the BBC the new cases took place in the Philippines, Bangladesh and Nepal before she started as regional director two years ago. I could see that they gave scrupulous thought to how to help and empower the world's most vulnerable people.

The Oxfam scandal is not the first to hit the humanitarian community.

"Haiti has taught us we need to do a lot more", she told the United Kingdom broadcaster.

Map locating countries where the British charity Oxfam works and four where Oxfam staff have been accused of sexual abuse
Map locating countries where the British charity Oxfam works and four where Oxfam staff have been accused of sexual abuse

Yesterday celebrity ambassador Minnie Driver severed all links with the charity.

The allegations revolve around Oxfam's then head of mission in Haiti, Belgian national Roland van Hauwermeiren, whose behaviour had already led to complaints when he worked for the charity in Chad.

Former Deputy Chief Executive Penny Lawrence also resigned on Monday as the scandal continued to grow.

Oxfam International chairman Dr Juan Alberto Fuentes Knight stepped down on Wednesday after being arrested in an unrelated corruption probe linked to his work as a government minister in Guatemala.

Several sponsors and partners of Oxfam including Visa and the retail chain Marks and Spencer have also said they are examining the situation.

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An Oxfam spokesman said cancellations of direct-debit donations in Great Britain had shot up between Saturday and Monday, from a typical 600 to almost 1,300, while adding that it was "too early" to judge the scandal's impact on donations.

The revelations came as Oxfam grapples with allegations that it was not transparent about a scandal involving some of its staff for using prostitutes in Haiti following a devastating 2010 natural disaster.

Worldwide aid organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has revealed that 19 employees were sacked in the past year following investigations on harassment or sexual abuse.

"Unless you safeguard everyone your organisation comes into contact with, including beneficiaries, staff and volunteers, we will not fund you", Mordaunt told a conference attended by representatives of development agencies in Stockholm.

She said the scale of misconduct was "not comparable" to that in Haiti, where Oxfam faces claims staff paid vulnerable people for sex. The NCA has led investigations which led to the jailing of British citizens for sex crimes committed overseas. "And it needs to change now", she said.

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Prices for barrels of crude from the North Sea, Russia, the United States and Middle East have dropped to multi-month lows. The reason why the oil market might suffer from a renewed glut largely comes down to soaring USA shale production.

"Even though reports of abuse have steadily increased, MSF is aware that abuse goes under-reported", the charity said.

Speaking on Australian radio on Wednesday, Oxfam Australia director Helen Szoke said the investigation was ongoing: "Every member of the Oxfam family at the moment is carefully looking back through what has happened to ensure that if there were issues, that they are being dealt with appropriately, and if they're not that they now de dealt with". Prostitution is a crime in Haiti.

The scandal has led to the resignation of Oxfam's deputy head and has thrown into question government funding for the charity, which amounted to about £32m past year.

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The new Willy Wonka is described as a "reimagining" that will hopefully lead to a franchise (of course). Get ready for yet another return to the Chocolate Factory , this time with a wholly distinct flavor.


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