The Alliance statement on media coverage of sexual misconduct by international NGO employees
In response to the reports in the media about staff employed by Oxfam in Haiti in 2011, Jane Salmonson, CEO of Scotland’s International Development Alliance said:
“I am horrified by the stories emerging in the press of the behaviour of Oxfam employees in Haiti in 2011. Oxfam and other international humanitarian agencies provide crucial life-saving services to people in desperate need. The disgraceful behaviour recently publicised should not be allowed to distort the fact that the overwhelming majority of individuals employed either directly or by implementing partners of humanitarian agencies, work in the most challenging circumstances imaginable to the highest professional and personal standards.
“Like others in the international development sector, I applaud whistle-blowing and welcome processes being put in place to encourage and support this. Whilst recognising that recruitment in disaster response settings is particularly difficult to conduct, I also welcome the actions being taken by humanitarian agencies to improve vetting procedures.
“Effective humanitarian response has never been as important as it is today. The United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs predicts that in 2018 more than 135 million people across the world will need humanitarian assistance and protection. I am proud of the leadership we show, in Scotland and in the UK, in responding time after time, speedily and efficiently, to people facing humanitarian crises. I am proud too of the generosity of the public who unfailingly respond to calls for help. The recent publicity of morally and professionally reprehensible activity is understandable. However it would be even more tragically reprehensible if we allowed it to diminish the extraordinary efforts we collectively make, as members of the public who give and as humanitarian agencies who act, to help the people who most need our help.”
Oxfam GB Chief Executive, Mark Goldring, also published a letter to all partners on this issue. Read it here.