You will have seen the stories in the news recently about the sexual misconduct of former Oxfam employees in Haiti and beyond.
We are ashamed, angry and so very sorry for the appalling behaviour that happened in our name.
We want you to know that we are committed to fixing the things we got wrong so we can better protect the people we serve – and continue to fight poverty wherever and however it exists.
What we’re doing right now: the Oxfam Action Plan.
The actions outlined below detail what is currently being undertaken, and what else has been agreed by the Oxfam Leadership Team, in response to this crisis. We will follow this plan and continue to listen and learn to ensure a comprehensive and accountable response from Oxfam around the world, which will lead to deep-rooted and lasting change.
We want to make significant and necessary changes to our policy, practice and culture to help stamp out exploitation, abuse and harassment from all parts of our confederation – protecting those we work with and ensuring justice for survivors of abuse.
So that we are fully transparent, the following information is taken directly from an official document being shared globally with everyone who works for Oxfam.
The actions listed here focus on:
- Demonstrating a meaningful commitment to transparency and accountability, including through the establishment of an independent commission to review our past and current work – the findings of which will be public, and the recommendations of which will guide further action by Oxfam
- Changing policies, practices and culture within Oxfam, including significantly increasing our investment in safeguarding and in gender training and support
- Working with others across the humanitarian and development sector to prevent this from happening again, including efforts to reform recruitment and vetting processes to prevent offenders from moving between organisations
1. Appointing an Independent High-Level Commission on Sexual Misconduct, Accountability and Culture Change
Oxfam International collated safeguarding data from 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019
The closed caseload consisted of:
- 23 cases of sexual abuse;
- 25 cases of exploitation (including actions such as paying for sex);
- 74 cases of sexual harassment;
- 98 cases of other internal reportable issues (such as bullying other inappropriate conduct; sexual or romantic relationship against the code of conduct and conflict of interest policy for instance, in the line of management, with partner staff, or otherwise leading to conflicts of interest; non-sexual child abuse such as physical, emotional, neglect, or other non-sexual harm to an under 18);
- 1 case where information was not provided.
A breakdown of the 221 cases show that the complainant/survivors were made up of:
- 48 Adults (7 Beneficiaries; 4 community members; 1 Vulnerable Adult; 20 non-beneficiaries; 13 volunteers; 3 vulnerable volunteers)
- 17 Children (3 beneficiaries; 3 community members; 2 non-beneficiaries; 9 volunteers)
- 14 Non-Staff (2 Contractors/consultants; 12 partner staff)
- 117 Non managerial staff
- 12 managerial staff
- 13 Not known
Of the 221 cases, a breakdown of the Subject of Complaint (Perpetrator) shows that:
- 2 were beneficiaries
- 5 were community members
- 24 were volunteers
- 17 were non-staff (including contractors and consultants)
- 12 were partner staff
- 100 were non-managerial staff
- 51 were managerial staff
- 10 cases were not determined
Of the 221 closed cases, 200 cases reported were investigated, and action taken. The outcomes were:
- 79 cases: involving disciplinary action, including 43 dismissals
- 45 cases: non-disciplinary action e.g. training on safeguarding and code of conduct
- 58 cases: insufficient evidence and the allegation was not upheld
- 10 cases: resignation of the respondents (person against whom the allegations were made) (2 prior to allegation being raised and 8 after)
- 7 cases: No information available
- 1 case: was later identified as not related to safeguarding.
Correction 20 May, 2019:
Got a question? Get in touch.
If you would like to talk more about how Oxfam is stamping out abuse, or about anything else that has concerned you, please do contact our Supporter Relations team.
0800 600 700 (9am-5pm) | firstname.lastname@example.org