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Minnie Driver steps down as Oxfam ambassador

15 February 2018

MSF is one of the world's largest nongovernmental organizations, with local and global staff working for long periods in extreme conditions, including war zones and during natural disasters.

In a statement, it said it had received 146 complaints or alerts previous year, of which 40 were found to be allegations of harassment or sexual assault.

Marks & Spencer, Visa and Heathrow Airport were also among the organisations which said they were reviewing lucrative partnerships with Oxfam.

"We will not tolerate any form of human rights abuses or misconduct, wherever they take place".

He rejected suggestions that a "culture of sexual abuse" exists in the humanitarian community. For years, aid has been an untouchable industry, with the downsides dismissed as miserly excuses by unkind people to avoid giving money away.

In fact, Judith Greenwood, Executive Director of the CHS (Core Humanitarian Standards) Alliance, says aid agencies and the United Nations do have "the tools" to tackle sexual abuse in the aid sector, although abuse committed by United Nations peacekeepers remains (at member states' insistence) the responsibility of the countries the peacekeepers come from.

But the sources said the internal investigation was watered down to only uncover enough to sack the people implicated.

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Pierre Esperance, the head of Haiti's National Human Rights Defence Network, said: "Oxfam, after the natural disaster, became like a factory".

"But there is no moral defence for cutting aid that helps millions of people in extreme poverty and those facing conflict and persecution, and saves hundreds of thousands of women and girls from sexual violence".

Mordaunt threatened to cut government funding to Oxfam - a total of nearly $45 million a year ago.

Former Deputy Chief Executive Penny Lawrence also resigned on Monday as the scandal continued to grow.

"The dismissal was not related to sexual misconduct and was not connected to the case in 2011, however, there were allegations of inappropriate behaviour", an Oxfam spokesperson said.

It stressed that none of the allegations related to children, contrary to some reports.

She said: "The leadership - in this case a lack of leadership - has been just extraordinary".

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This Morning viewers have given a nationwide high five to Eamonn Holmes for an impressive rant against Oxfam's director, following the Haiti sex scandal that has recently rocked the charity.

After resigning from Oxfam, he went on to work for French charity Action Against Hunger in Bangladesh.

Yesterday evening, people who pay monthly direct debits to Oxfam Ireland received a statement from Oxfam Ireland's chief executive, Jim Clarken, stressing that he feels "deep shame in the behaviour of those who failed to uphold our values".

A number of commercial organizations said they were reconsidering their association with the charity.

Hunter said: "What has happened over the past few days has been really shocking".

"Though reports of abuse through our grievance mechanisms are steadily increasing, MSF believes misbehavior remains underreported today", the charity said.

"One approach would be to have access to the police records of people sent into the field, as is now the case for teachers after the paedophilia cases in France".

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"Unless you safeguard everyone your organization comes into contact with, including beneficiaries, staff and volunteers, we will not fund you", Mordaunt told a conference attended by representatives of development agencies in Stockholm.

Minnie Driver steps down as Oxfam ambassador