Oxfam’s disgraced Haiti official left earlier publish over ‘intercourse parties’


Roland van Hauwermeiren used to be forced out of Liberia feature with charity Merlin over intercourse employee allegations in 2004, sooner than working for Oxfam

Roland van Hauwermeiren used to be time and again in a position to get work in the reduction sector despite twice agreeing to resign over sexual misconduct allegations.

Roland van Hauwermeiren used to be time and again in a position to get work in the reduction sector despite twice agreeing to resign over sexual misconduct allegations.
Represent: Peter Nicholls/Reuters

The help official embroiled in a sexual misconduct scandal at the charity Oxfam had allegedly been forced out by yet another British charity seven years earlier, following an investigation into the exercise of intercourse employees.

Roland van Hauwermeiren agreed to creep away his job working for the charity Merlin in Liberia in 2004, following an investigation into intercourse parties with local ladies folks, essentially essentially based on the humanitarian news web popularity Irin. Merlin, a clinical emergency reduction charity, has since merged with Build the Kids.

Van Hauwermeiren went on to work for Oxfam in Chad and Haiti, the set the charity’s employees are supposed to bear old-customary intercourse employees. An investigation by the Times stumbled on van Hauwermeiren resigned from his feature as the pinnacle of mission in Haiti in 2011, after admitting that prostitutes had visited his villa there. He later worked for the French charity Action Against Hunger as nation director in Bangladesh.

The UK’s Charity Commission has since launched a statutory inquiry into Oxfam amid considerations it is going to also now not bear “absolutely and frankly disclosed” all info about the Haiti allegations. The charity’s deputy chief executive, Penny Lawrence, has furthermore resigned, asserting she used to be “desperately sorry”.

In step with a document by Irin, considerations when it comes to van Hauwermeiren and his colleagues bear been reported twice by the Swedish civil servant and prone reduction employee Amira Malik Miller. Miller alerted both Merlin and the Swedish authorities’s reduction department, which went on to present almost $750,000 (£540,000) towards Oxfam’s Chad mission, under van Hauwermeiren’s administration.

“He correct goes round the system … from Liberia to Chad, to Haiti, to Bangladesh. Somebody must soundless bear checked effectively,” she urged Irin.

In 2004, Miller made a formal complaint to Merlin’s head place of job in London, after witnessing a colleague fondling a younger local lady in the charity’s guesthouse, essentially essentially based on Irin. An inner investigation stumbled on that the administration crew, four men, bear been all paying for intercourse. The investigation furthermore stumbled on they’d been the exercise of Merlin automobiles to pressure intercourse employees to and from parties at the charity’s guest home. Van Hauwermeiren denied the findings, nonetheless agreed to resign.

Miller urged Irin that she felt the disciplinary plod taken might perhaps well perhaps also bear been stronger. One employee who had paid for intercourse used to be urged to apologise and allowed to protect his job.

Miller reported considerations about van Hauwermeiren’s behaviour again four years later, in 2008, when working for the Swedish authorities’s reduction department. After discovering out a funding application from Oxfam in Chad, she saw that van Hauwermeiren used to be listed as nation director, and alerted the then humanitarian director of the Swedish World Pattern Cooperation Agency (Sida), Per Byman. Sida gave a $748,537 grant to Oxfam for Chad in the identical one year.

In step with the allegations, Oxfam acknowledged the sheer numbers of NGOs running meant that it used to be now not doubtless to quit these stumbled on guilty of exploitation from discovering jobs in other locations. The chairwoman of Oxfam Massive Britain’s council of trustees, Caroline Thomson, acknowledged: “As newest events bear shown, sexual abuse is a blight on society and Oxfam is now not immune. Indeed, NGOs that work in usually fragile and unstable environments can transform targets for abusers.

“We now bear made major enhancements since 2011 in our efforts to expose and get rid of sexual abuse nonetheless we all know we must be vigilant and to continue to present a lift to if we’re to constantly dwell as much as the excessive requirements rightly expected of us. It is a ways now not ample to be appalled by the behaviour of our prone employees – we must and must soundless be taught from it and exercise it as a spur to enchancment.”

Build the Kids acknowledged that it is unable to touch upon the case, adding that it merged with Merlin in 2013, 9 years after the incident.

The Charity Commission of England and Wales urged Irin it had no data for Merlin in 2004, so it couldn’t touch upon whether or now not it used to be alerted to the case. Closing one year, the regulator requested charities to document any previously withheld instances of abuse.