Oxfam Scandal

Posted on February 14, 2018

It is hard, even amongst the crazy events over the last couple of years, to imagine the context of the crisis engulfing Oxfam.

I just can’t imagine that someone in grief stricken Haiti or Chad, could actually say, “Come on lads, get this bit cleaned up and we can go get some hookers!”

At what point on someone’s morality spectrum would that seem like a good idea?

Oxfam are of course, getting accused of covering the whole thing up which, if I am honest, I would have done as well if I had been the MD when it came out.

“I would have said, “Sack them all immediately” put new checking measures in place and hoped beyond hope it would never rear its head. That is because once it emerges your aid workers having been paying for sex in stricken countries your organisation is supposed to be caring for, you are probably finished as a going concern.

It is a tragedy really, because for all the good work Oxfam have done, there is no way back for them now as far as I can see. How can they regain trust?

I can’t imagine anyone I know who would do such a perverted thing as to go to the aid of stricken people then exploit them for prostitution, so that leaves me assuming that habitual perverts have managed to infiltrate Oxfam purely for the purpose of abuse.

So, does that mean that Oxfam were neglecting to carry out CRB checks on aid workers through the registration process? I guess tha will all emerge in time.

If that is the case, Oxfam would have been absolute heaven for these perverts who have seen their entrance into sports clubs and activities such as the scouts, increasingly denied by the CRB (Criminal Record Burea) process that can be a nuisance to fill out in your own time but has a critical and legitimate purpose.

The problem for Oxfam that won’t go away is the thought entrenched in the mind of the public that they have, with their donations, funded sex tours of some of the most desperate places in the world.

I know a chap who worked at Oxfam as a contract trouble shooter on their poor performing integrated computer systems a few years back and I can remember him telling me that money was been squandered and there appeared to be a lack of leadership within the organisation.

I found it quite shocking that money was haemorrhaging from a company on a failing IT  system and if kind of put me off Oxfam. However, a poor IT department has nothing on the feeling of thinking that donations have funded the travel of people intent on sexual abuse.

It would appear that we don’t learn from the likes of Savile and that it is in the DNA of decent folk to assume that those working for a desperate cause are of a high moral standing.

This is in most cases, probably true, but we need to learn that in the mind of a sex abuser, charitable or voluntary work has, for far too long, been an open door where their predatory instincts can prosper.

For all its good work, I do hope that Oxfam can survive but it’s a long a difficult road ahead if it is to try.

2 Replies to "Oxfam Scandal"

  • Teresa WITHEY
    February 14, 2018 (6:18 pm)


    I realise that I am 1000s of miles away, working for a UK based charity, assisting underpriveledged youth realise their dreams of starting a small business but…

    that does not make me an unethical scum bag! Nor does it suggest that my colleagues are anything similar. They are not!

    A CRB check would not have detected my use of prositutes if I had chosen to frequent those over 18 who had not been forced into their profession.

    Oxfam’s inability to manage their IT infrastructure is something suffered by many a government department. That does not make their whole organisation into perverted, unethical individuals.

    I hope any inquest determines that this is a rogue team, run by a bad apple. The charity’s head office would have tracked the rogue team’s in-country performance against a set of valid objectives designed to prove that the aid money was being well used. I would suspect that was why the main culprit was reemployed in Haiti.

    Perhaps there are individuals in Oxfam’s management who, incorrectly, decided to initially overlook the negative reports from the field regarding his deplorable activities. There are further individual’s who made further poor decisions not to give accurate references to subsequent employers.

    The above, in no way demeans the fantastic work Oxfam do for people in need around the world. It should mean that a new system of safeguarding is vigorously employed, and that Oxfam’s thousands of honourable and worthy employees (and volunteers) can continue to be funded by us (and the government) to help millions of people in the UK and workdwide that need the aid.

    Prosecute illegal activity, remove unethical individuals, change procedures, but leave Oxfam’s teams to continue their adminrable work without a witch hunt.

  • Trevor
    February 14, 2018 (11:04 pm)

    Clearly the crimes of the Oxfam employees in Haiti are indefensible and the cover up obviously foolish also, but I wonder if the story would have been blown up to such a degree if the context was different and the perpetrators involved had been old members of the Bullingdon Club or top execs of a Murdoch organisation? I do wonder if that had been the case it would have (perhaps) made the news then been laughed off down the pub or brushed over by the media as high-jinx.

    I’m always up for a good conspiracy theory but it does strike me that the Oxfam situation gives the government plenty of fuel to reduce overseas aid with far less opposition from the general public than they would have had before the story broke.

    If nothing else it highlights that charities have to be whiter than white and absolutely transparent in all their operations if they are to maintain public trust and if they aren’t then it’s catastrophic, whereas commercial operations have a lot more leeway in the way that they are judged.

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