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Oxfam denies 'Haiti sex party' cover-up

February 9, 2018

A newspaper report said Oxfam staff paid prostitutes for sex while on a mission to help 2010 earthquake victims. The British charity says it dismissed four employees following an internal investigation.

Oxfam staff delivering hygiene kits in Haiti
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/Oxfam/F. Afonso

British aid group Oxfam on Friday denied a newspaper report that it covered up instances of staff paying prostitutes in Haiti after the devastating earthquake in 2010 that killed 220,000 people.

The charity said the behavior of some staff members in 2011 was "totally unacceptable."

"As soon as we became aware of the allegations we immediately launched an internal investigation," Oxfam said, responding to The Times report that its aid workers had paid for sex in Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas.

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The internal probe led to the sacking of four Oxfam employees, the charity said, adding that three people, including the country director, resigned before the end of the investigation.

But the report said Oxfam did not inform the Haitian authorities or take any legal action against the offenders.

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Sex workers in Oxfam T-shirts

The Times reported that Oxfam workers had invited groups of young prostitutes to their guesthouse in Delmas, near the capital of Port-au-Prince, for sex.

An unidentified source told the newspaper he had seen footage of an orgy with sex workers wearing Oxfam t-shirts.

Oxfam neither confirmed nor denied the report but said its investigation had "related to offenses including bullying, harassment, intimidation and failure to protect staff as well as sexual misconduct."

The charity said its probe could not prove allegations that its staff had hired underage girls.

ap/sms (Reuters, AFP, dpa)

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