Haiti suspends Oxfam pending investigation into sexual abuse

An Oxfam sign is seen on a kiosk that was used to distribute water in a camp for displaced people of the 2010 earthquake on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince Haiti

"There could be an extradition: we could call for them to be brought back to Haiti", he said, adding that if that did not succeed "we could bring a civil action, or help the victims do so".

The Haitian government has said it will temporarily suspend Oxfam's United Kingdom branch from carrying out aid work in the country as it investigates allegations of sexual misconduct.

The Caribbean nation's government announced the United Kingdom arm of the charity has had its authorisation to work in Haiti revoked for at least two months over "serious failings" between 2010 and 2011.

Allegations also surfaced that the group of male aid workers threw parties with prostitutes at a guesthouse known as the "pink apartments" which was rented by the charity.

Planning and External Cooperation Minister Aviol Fleurant said on Thursday that Oxfam's operations were suspended because of its "serious failings" between 2010 and 2011, AFP reported.

Oxfam formally apologised to the Haitian government on Monday for its handling of the scandal and for failing to report it promptly to local authorities.

Haiti will decide on Oxfam's operations in the country only two months later, after reviewing evidence in the case.

"Oxfam is committed to putting in place a number of wide-sweeping initiatives to improve its global safeguarding policies and practices, including the establishment of an independent commission and putting more staff and resources into its safeguarding teams".

OXFAM has been banned from Haiti after allegations emerged of aid workers "exploiting victims of the 2010 natural disaster by paying them for sex".

The charity's country director in Haiti at the time of the scandal, who was among those to resign, has since branded much of what was alleged as "absolute nonsense".

Oxfam's chief executive told MPs this week that it has received 26 new allegations of sexual misconduct since the scandal went public.

Oxfam has agreed to stop bidding for Government funding while it acts over the crisis.

"Haiti is no longer an NGO republic", he said after meeting with Oxfam's director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Simon Ticehurst.

It has since emerged that Van Hauwermeiren was given his job despite being "forced out" of another charity role after prostitute claims were made against him in 2004.

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt has suggested Oxfam may have "deliberately" misled over the Haiti allegations in order to try and protect their reputation.

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