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Oxfam chief executive under investigation over handling of sex abuse claim

The charity says it takes all complaints seriously.

The chief executive of Oxfam is the subject of an internal investigation over the handling of a sex abuse claim.

On Tuesday, Mark Goldring is to face MPs to answer questions about Oxfam’s aid work in Haiti, amid allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation by staff responding to the 2010 earthquake in the Caribbean country.

It has now emerged the boss is part of a probe at the charity, following a complaint made last month over how senior management had responded to requests to re-open a 2010 case involving allegations of sexual abuse.

Gavin Stewart, Oxfam vice-chair of trustees, said: “Oxfam takes all complaints seriously and so this is being examined by a team that is independent of management and has no previous involvement in this case. I expect the team to report their findings to me on schedule, later this month.

“The complaint related to events in late 2017 and was made by an individual who was not involved in 2010.”

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Oxfam sex allegations

The original case will be considered as part of the independent commission announced by Oxfam last week, when executive director Winnie Byanyima promised to root out any wrongdoing at the charity and provide justice for anyone abused by its staff.

Mr Goldring, alongside the chair of trustees, Caroline Thomson, and Ms Byanyima, will appear before the Commons International Development Committee on Tuesday.

It comes after the charity issued a formal apology to the Haitian government.

On Monday, the charity officially released the findings of its investigation into relief workers sent to Haiti in 2010.

The 10-page report concluded charities should be warned about “problem staff” – only for several accused of abuse to successfully take up future posts in the aid sector.

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