Oxfam Under Review Following Haitian Prostitute Allegations

In times of crisis, relief efforts are welcome. Aid workers will travel to the areas in need of support and provide for them however they can, giving them the chance to slowly come back from whatever crisis has affected them. In 2011, Oxfam took part in the 2011 Haiti earthquake relief effort, but it has since become clear that there was more going on than simple aid work.

Young tired businessman sitting with his head over laptop

The 2010 earthquake is said to have left at least 220,000 people dead, making it a tragic and difficult time for Haiti and its people. However, it has since come to light that a number of senior aid workers were paying for sex while they were supposed to be helping the people in the region.

An internal investigation

The 2010 earthquake had a huge impact on many living in Haiti. It left hundreds of thousands of people dead and millions found themselves homeless. Many began to try to make money or get through the situation in any way that they could. They would search for food and shelter, or turn to the aid workers from Oxfam in search of help.

However, The Times tells us that a number of male Oxfam workers decided to arrange sex parties at a villa, which had been rented by the charity. Sources reporting to the paper also claimed that they had seen footage from one of these parties, suggesting that it was “like a full-on Caligula orgy”.

Despite the fact that the charity received no footage, they launched an internal investigation, under the belief that some of those at the parties were in fact underage. It was later stated that there had been no evidence found to support this claim. However, when the inquiry was finished, they issued a statement which only said that some staff were “involved in a number of instances of misconduct”.

A cover up?

Given that the senior aid workers for Oxfam were holding orgies at a property rented by the charity to help them help others, “misconduct” seems like a pretty vague description of what happened. Furthermore, they stated that it wasn’t fraud and that it “did not affect the approximately $98 million Oxfam fundraised following the earthquake”.

This revelation has made people question whether Oxfam was hoping to cover the action up, especially considering that paying for sex is illegal in Haiti, as well as being against the charity’s code of conduct. Despite this, none involved have faced criminal investigation. The charity explained that they had not reported the scandal because “it was extremely unlikely that any action would be taken”, given the difficulties the country was going through at the time.

This has obviously made people question just what Oxfam are up to, and as a result the Charity Commission and the government are now reviewing their relationship with the charity. What has made things worse is that those involved are now back working aid relief with other charities.

Decriminalisation of sex work

Given that Oxfam is one of the largest charities in Britain, this has made many people question them. They are denying the fact that they have tried to cover it up, but given their unusual definitions they have for the scandal, it seems a bit strange. People struggling to eat after an earthquake aren’t really doing it as an occupational choice. They are in desperate straits and need Oxfam to help, not get their jollies.

Of course, this is something people are going to be talking about for a long time to come, specifically because it involves sex work. The general assumption about sex work is that people don’t want to do it, but as we know, sex work is a choice for many. If people want to do it, then they should be able to without fear of prosecution for selling it or for purchasing it.

To me, this entire thing just points out how important it is to decriminalise sex work. The decriminalisation of sex work would make it a good deal safer for those involved to work, and for those who do not wish to work in the industry it will give them the proper support required to exit. Imagine living in a country where starving people are committing a crime. Whether it is a poor person in a developing country, or a businesswoman in a place like ours, it should all be decriminalised.

But what do you think about this? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment in the box below.

Lara Mills
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Lara Mills

Lara Mills is a writer who has four years of sex industry expertise behind her. Since she entered the adult industry, she has worked on the Escort Advertising forums, before moving into her current role three years ago.

Since then she has gained a fine reputation with her blogs on sex advice, sexual health and amusing news stories from around the globe. She is also a campaigner for the rights of sex workers from all over the world.

In her spare time, Lara keeps herself active by going running, and is something of a film buff. She also loves to go travelling.
Lara Mills
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