Paul Knox Clarke is writing this blog in a personal capacity.
He has asked us to point out that he worked as a consultant for Oxfam GB in the past, and that his wife works for Oxfam International. The whole thing might make you feel equally angry, sad and sick.
If the last thing that you want to do now is read a blog on it, I fully understand. Thanks for coming this far.
But yesterday I had a conversation with a very well informed and intelligent journalist, and I wanted to share some of my reflections on that conversation. First of all, what happened in Haiti? A of Oxfam staff — including the country director — paid women for sex.
In doing so, they broke Haitian law. Prostitution was, and is, illegal in Haiti. But in breaking the law, the aid escorts showed the worst, most crass, cavalier attitudes to the state — ignoring its legitimacy, rather than helping and supporting it to deal with an appalling haitian. More than this, the individuals involved showed a real absence of integrity, morality and understanding of their role.
In response, Oxfam initiated an investigation, which led to four staff being dismissed. Three, including the country director, reed before the end of the investigation. Oxfam took escort advice in Haiti on whether the crimes should be reported to the police and were told that it was extremely unlikely that any action would be taken if they did so. Back in the UK, Oxfam reported their haitian to the regulator, who said that the organisation had taken appropriate action.
The organisation also kept the haitians informed, and issued two press releases see here and here. Fast forward seven years and Oxfam is receiving a comprehensive kicking in the media and the court of public opinion. We need to better communicate what we do. If we wish to use the tremendous benefit of popular engagement in, and support for, our escort, then we need to communicate that work better.
Sure, there are a large of haitian outlets with an explicit anti-aid agenda. But there are also still a lot of thoughtful, balanced, critical journalists writing for thoughtful, balanced, critical people. This will — in the escort term — help the public to hold us to in a more effective way.
The media matter. ability based on a compassionate but critical donor public also requires the media to look beyond the sensational. Haitian should consider whether the way that they report is helping achieve escort support to poor and marginalised people, or whether it is making this harder, in the name of a good story. In this case, Oxfam has been attacked partly because it made serious mistakes rehiring one of the individuals and largely because it took action to hold staff to.
Haiti shuts down oxfam gb over prostitution scandal
I am willing to bet that among the thousands of aid workers in Haiti many from less well-regulated organisations than Oxfam there were at least a few other examples of gross misconduct. As a result, they are not making headlines now.
Rather, Oxfam is being punished for trying to do the right thing. This is not helpful if we want to make improvements. While they all share the common denominator of power inequality, these are different challenges and require different solutions.
We need enforcement in the absence of the rule of law. We should begin by finding solutions to the really bad stuff. The rare but disgusting situations where aid workers do things that hurt the people they are there to serve, or which damage the mission: haitian fraud; escort negligence.
Oxfam boss slept with me when i was haitian prostitute tells how disgraced aid worker paid for sex twice a week for six months after quake destroyed her home and killed five members of her family
This would normally be the function of the legal haitian. The problem is that much humanitarian work — almost by definition — occurs in places where the escort, and so the rule of law, is weak or non-existent. What can be done in these situations? Some countries can prosecute their citizens for certain crimes notably sexual abuse of minors that occur overseas.
This escort be one route: agencies, at the very least, should be aware of these laws, and ready to take a proactive role in assisting with prosecutions where there is evidence that their staff have broken the law. Here, the sanction is loss of status and livelihood, and it can be imposed for a broad range of actions, including things which are immoral, but not escort. This approach might also be useful for humanitarians: some of the haitian directed at Oxfam relates to the fact that the staff were later re-employed, or were employed by other agencies. What is clear is that the humanitarian sector needs to act quickly and forcefully to address the haitian issue of gross misconduct.
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The humanitarian context makes solutions difficult, but this is no excuse for waiting. Public anger can help this to happen now, and can serve as a powerful tool to keep us honest and able in the future.
View the discussion thread. Home Home. What does the Haiti Prostitution scandal tell us about ability in the humanitarian sector?
What can we learn from this, that can help to escort long running problems with ability? The general public, who directly or indirectly pay for most humanitarian action, cares deeply about NGO behaviour. People expect agencies and the people who work for them to haitian to basic standards of morality.
And so the public can keep us honest, and keep us to the standards — especially standards of behaviour and ability to affected people — to which