NEWS
15/02/2018 14:46 GMT | Updated 15/02/2018 16:42 GMT

Oxfam Admits It Rehired Worker Dismissed Over Haiti Sexual Misconduct

'A serious error.'

Oxfam has said that a man it dismissed over sexual misconduct allegations in Haiti in 2011 was subsequently hired by the charity as a consultant in Ethiopia later that year.

The charity called this decision “a serious error and should never have happened”.

It comes after it was revealed Oxfam workers had used prostitutes in Haiti after the devastating earthquake there, some of whom may have been underage. The charity denies claims it tried to cover up the scandal. 

This week Penny Lawrence, Oxfam’s deputy chief executive who was the charity’s international programmes director when the alleged sexual abuse happened, resigned. 

Peter Nicholls / Reuters
A pedestrian walks past a branch of Oxfam in London 

She said: “I am ashamed that this happened on my watch and I take full responsibility.” Lawrence was international programmes director from 2006 to 2014, when she became deputy chief executive.

Ministers announced they have set up a new unit to review safety across all parts of the aid sector in response to the scandal. 

Oxfam said it publicly announced an investigation into the allegations when they surfaced in 2011. Four members of staff were dismissed and three, including county director Roland van Hauwermeiren, resigned before the end of the probe. 

The charity said the allegations that under-age girls may have been involved were not proven.