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Last Update: 2 Day and 11 Hour and 16 Minute ago
News code: 26161
Published Date: Tuesday 31 July 2018 - 15:13:11
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UK aid sector 'ignored' sexual exploitation

UK aid sector 'ignored' sexual exploitation
World  - Sexual abuse is endemic in the aid sector because of a 'boys' club' attitude in male dominated charities, UK MPs warn.


In a report, they said a 'macho' environment contributed to the sort of atmosphere where sexual exploitation was tolerated.

The Commons international development committee accused the aid sector of 'complacency verging on complicity' over the abuse scandal.

In the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Oxfam sent a team of 230 to help the homeless and starving.

Within months, allegations surfaced of senior staff using prostitutes - some of whom may have been under 18.

Roland van Hauwermeiren, head of the charity's Haiti mission, was accused of paying teenage girls between £70 and £140 a time for sex at his hilltop villa known as the Eagle's Nest.
Former staff told the Mail earlier this year that Mr van Hauwermeiren, a 68-year-old Belgian, 'loved young girls'. Instead of being dismissed, he was offered a deal to resign if he co-operated with the investigation.

Mr van Hauwermeiren was allowed 'a phased and dignified exit' by then Oxfam chief executive, Dame Barbara Stocking.

The charity released a statement in August 2011 saying he had voluntarily stepped down because of staff misconduct.

Mr van Hauwermeiren became head of mission for Action Against Hunger in Bangladesh from 2012 to 2014. Despite employment checks, the charity said Oxfam 'did not share any warning regarding unethical conduct'.

It highlights failings relating to both the recipients of aid and attacks on charity workers.

It found the delivery of help to people in crisis had been subverted by sexual predators, with only superficial action taken to tackle it.

'Deluded' charity bosses were engaged in a 'culture of denial' - exhibiting more concern for good PR than for victims.

MPs highlight that a lack of barriers makes aid an 'attractive sector for people wishing to exploit others'.

 

News Code: 26161
Published Date: Tuesday 31 July 2018 - 15:13:11
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