Top Oxfam staff paid Haiti quake survivors for sex

Oxfam sanitation project in one of the tent camps in Haiti

An investigation by the Times newspaper found the charity had sacked four people for gross misconduct and allowed three to resign after an inquiry looking into behaviour in Haiti, where Oxfam helped the worldwide relief effort after the natural disaster in 2010.

Oxfam has denied the allegation it tried to cover up the reports and said allegations that underage girls were involved "were not proven".

In response to the report published by The Times, Oxfam released a public statement, which read, "The behavior of some members of Oxfam staff uncovered in Haiti in 2011 was totally unacceptable, contrary to our values and the high standards we expect of our staff".

Oxfam's country director Roland Van Hauwermeiren, 68, admitted using prostitutes at the charity's rented villa - known as the Eagle's Nest - and was allowed to resign, The Times reported.

There were also claims of footage from one of these parties, which was described as "like a full-on Caligula orgy". Oxfam has, however, claimed it did in fact disclose this to the charities regulator.

"This was not a cover-up".

The charity said it launched an investigation "as soon as we became aware of the allegations" in 2011 and "publicly announced" its outcome while keeping trustees, the Charity Commission and the Department for International Development informed. "Several staff members were dismissed as a result of investigation and ors left organization before it was completed", representative said.

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The charity said it had allowed Van Hauwermeiren to resign on the basis that he fully cooperated with and supported the investigation.

On Friday morning, Liz Truss, the chief secretary to the Treasury, branded the revelations "shocking, sickening and depressing". The country, one of the poorest in the world, was struggling to recover from the quake, and the organization's lawyers advised that, given the circumstances, "the police would not deal with it at that time". Oxfam's code of conduct bans paying for sex.

The age of consent in Haiti is 18 and prostitution is illegal.

None of the accused from the report have faced any criminal charges.

Oxfam did not report the scandal to authorities in Haiti because "it was extremely unlikely that any action would be taken" in light of the upheaval the country was facing, the paper reported.

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