Penny Lawrence, the Deputy Executive of Oxfam, has resigned over the “handling of a sex scandal involving air workers,” BBC reported.
Oxfam has been under tremendous pressure after the charity was accused of concealing the finding of inquiries including that the Oxfam country director in Haiti used prostitutes during delivering aid in 2011.
Penny Lawrence announced her resignation in a statement taking full responsibility. Lawrence said she was ashamed.
“Concerns were raised about the behavior of staff in Chad as well as Haiti that we failed to adequately act upon,” Lawrence said.
“It is now clear that these allegations – involving the use of prostitutes and which related to the behavior of both the country director and members of his team in Chad – were raised before he moved to Haiti.”
The Times investigation reported that “Oxfam covered up the use of prostitutes by senior aid workers.”
The behaviour uncovered by The Times in Haiti 2011 was totally unacceptable, contrary to our values and the high standards we expect of our staff. Our full statement: https://t.co/0lKgom5YIG
— Oxfam (@oxfamgb) February 9, 2018
Following The Times investigation, it quoted Matt Hancock, the culture secretary responsible for charity regulation: “These allegations are deeply shocking, and Oxfam must now provide the Charity Commission with all the evidence they hold of events that happened in Haiti as a matter of urgency.
"This is appalling. It hurts me very deeply.
Our priority is to stand alongside the women who were abused, and to root out sexual misconduct from our organization and we are working on that."
— Oxfam International (@Oxfam) February 12, 2018
“The reported historic behavior of senior aid workers is abhorrent and completely unacceptable. Charities must ensure that they have the highest standards of transparency and safeguarding procedures in place to protect vulnerable people and maintain the trust of the public.”
Oxfam’s Funding Threatened
After the revelation of The Times findings, Oxfam’s funding has been threatened by several donors including the British government and the European Union.
A number of pro-prostitution lobbyists on here are suggesting that there is absolutely nothing wrong with Oxfam staff paying for sex, because the women and girls are 'professionals' earning a living, and selling sex out of choice. Morally bankrupt bastards.
— Julie Bindel (@bindelj) February 12, 2018
The European Union said it demands maximum clarity from Oxfam and the EU is ready to “cease funding any partner not living up to high ethical standards.”
Oxfam : perspective needed? Do we shut down the BBC because of Harris, Savile et al? Do we close Hollywood because of Weinstein?
— alex thomson (@alextomo) February 12, 2018
Penny Mordaunt, the International Development Secretary said, Oxfam must ensure clarity of the way it handled the allegations or it might risk losing the $40 million government funding it received in the last year.