Charity watchdog to launch investigation into Oxfam scandal

Charities reel as 120 workers accused of sexual abuse in last year alone

Overseas Aid did not fund Oxfam's Haiti campaign

"As program director at the time, I am ashamed that this happened on my watch".

She also set up a new unit in her ministry to ensure all aid recipients are safeguarded from harm.

Widza Bryant, who worked in HR for Oxfam in Haiti from 2009 for three years, said she shared "ongoing rumours" about locals being exploited with management "on many occasions".

On Monday evening, the Charity Commission announced that it had opened a statutory inquiry into Oxfam.

In a statement, the Commission said that it was concerned the charity had not "fully and frankly disclosed material details about the allegations at the time in 2011" after reviewing documents released by Oxfam about its Haiti staff's misconduct.

"With regard to Oxfam and any other organisation that has safeguarding issues, we expect them to cooperate fully with such authorities, and we will cease to fund any organisation that does not", Mordaunt said in a statement.

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On Friday, Oxfam said allegations that underage girls may have been involved were not proven, It said four members of staff were dismissed as a result of the investigation and three resigned before the end of the investigation.

The charity commission demanded further information from Oxfam on Saturday, saying it had "made no mention of any potential sexual crimes involving minors", when it first reported the investigation in 2011.

The paper also reports that the charity failed to alert other aid agencies about the staff members' behaviour, with Mr Van Hauwermeiren going on to work elsewhere in the sector.

Evans also spoke about the "inappropriate conduct" towards teenage volunteers working in Oxfam's United Kingdom charity shops.

Oxfam Ireland described the staff's behaviour as "totally unacceptable" and "contrary to our values" and said the Irish charity held a "zero-tolerance approach to sexual misconduct and will not stand for any kind of harassment of staff, partners, volunteers or those we serve".

Asked to comment on former UK International Secretary Priti Patel's comments that there is a "culture of denial" about exploitation in the aid sector, the spokeswoman said Concern had not experienced "widespread abuse" in the sector.

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In its last financial year Oxfam received 32 million pounds ($44 million) from Britain's aid ministry, about 8 percent of its overall income.

"We expect Oxfam to fully clarify the allegations with maximum transparency as a matter of urgency, and we're ready to review and, if needed, cease funding to any partner who is not living up to the required high ethical standards", European Union spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic told reporters. "And now that the full extent of this is clear, we understand that people react to it immediately".

"All British Red Cross staff working overseas sign up to a strict Movement Code of Conduct, which guards standards of behaviour, including the prohibition of any act of sexual exploitation or abuse", he said.

Penny Lawrence, the deputy head of Oxfam who communicated with Evans at the time, stepped down on Monday as the scandal continued to roil the organization and threaten its funding from the British government.

Oxfam's chief executive Mark Goldring leaves the Department for International Development (DFID) in central London on February 12, 2018.

She knows she will face tough questioning from MPs on the global development committee next week about what her department knew and what she has done since.

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