Oxfam releases internal report over Haiti sex scandal, offers apology

Oxfam Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Simon Ticehurst(L) and Oxfam Intermon Executive Affiliate Unit head, Margalida Massot attend a meeting with Minister of Planning and External Cooperation, Aviol Fleurant, in Port-au-Prince, on February 19, 2018. Oxfam issued its first direct apology to the Haiti government Monday following a report detailing the prostitution scandal that has shaken the NGO, expressing its "shame" and vowing to do better."We came here to share the report with the minister and express our shame and apologies to the Haitian government and to the Haitian people," said Simon Ticehurst, Oxfam's regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean. / AFP PHOTO / HECTOR RETAMAL (Photo credit should read HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images)

Port-Au-Prince: Oxfam has publicly released its internal investigation into the 2011 Haiti prostitution scandal. The 10-page report highlights how the allegations initially surfaced, how they were investigated and also includes reports into how the witnesses were treated.  Three staff members are alleged to have “physically threatened and intimidated” a witness during the investigation.

The British charity has been gripped by a scandal alleging that senior staff, including the former Haiti Country Director Roland van Hauwermeiren hired prostitutes at Oxfam premises after the 2010 earthquakes in the country. Van Hauwermeiren denies the allegations that he hired prostitutes at the property Oxfam had rented for him. The names of other staff involved in the scandal have been redacted in the report.

The Haiti government has threatened to expel the charity following allegations.

Oxfam’s regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Simon Ticehurst said in a statement that “Oxfam is grateful to the Haiti Government for allowing us the chance now to offer our humblest apologies and to begin explaining ourselves and start the long road ahead of re-establishing trust and partnership, given our 40-year history with Haiti and its citizens.”

“We will stand ready to engage with the people of Haiti and have expressed our openness to collaborate as much as required with the Haiti Government” he added.