Minnie Driver quits Oxfam after sex in crisis zone scandal

Tim Hunter

ITVThis Morning Tim Hunter apologised for Oxfam's Haiti scandal

Minnie Driver has become the first celebrity to quit as an ambassador of British charity Oxfam following allegations senior staff working in crisis zones paid for sex with vulnerable locals.

She said she would be meeting the National Crime Agency on Thursday after talks with charity bosses, regulators and experts in recent days.

She added: "In light of these allegations, we will be reviewing our association with Oxfam as a participant volunteering provider".

Aid workers, including the Oxfam country director at the time, Roland van Hauwermeiren, were accused of turning a villa rented by the organisation into a makeshift brothel, with prostitutes wearing only Oxfam T-shirts.

No wonder. According to Oxfam GB's former deputy chief executive Penny Lawrence, the allegations of sexual misconduct were first raised about the Oxfam staff in an earlier mission in Chad.

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The comments from Haitian President Jovenel Moise add to the condemnation the anti-poverty charity has received since the Times revealed last week some Oxfam employees paid for sex while working in Haiti among people devastated by the 2010 natural disaster.

"I have worked with Oxfam nearly exclusively on the rights and plight of women in developing countries".

Oxfam received £31.7 million (35.7 million euros, $43.8 million) from state coffers past year.

British aid organization Oxfam faced fresh pressure on Tuesday (13 February) after a former senior member of staff said her concerns about "a culture of sexual abuse" involving aid workers in some the organisation's offices had been ignored, writes Alistair Smout.

Oxfam is battling the fallout from revelations some of its staff engaged sex workers while delivering aid after the 2010 quake in Haiti.

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Ms Driver tweeted out the Telegraph article, and added further thoughts, writing: "All I can tell you about this terrible revelation about Oxfam is that I am devastated".

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt is due to give a speech on Wednesday threatening to cut government funding to charities who fail to put robust safeguarding measures in place.

Haitian president Jovenel Moise said: "What happened is an extremely serious violation of human dignity".

"We have immediately contacted Save The Children to establish whether they have any knowledge of and/or hold any records about these reports either at the time of the merger or subsequently and if so to ask them to urgently disclose this information to us", a Charity Commission spokesperson said.

Among the allegations is that the head of Oxfam in Haiti had "wild sex parties" with multiple sex workers.

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Mordaunt added she will also demand all donors and development organisations show leadership and take action on the matter at the global End Violence Solutions Summit in Stockholm next week.

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