Responding to The International Development Select Committee’s report Sexual exploitation and abuse in the aid sector, Caroline Thomson, Oxfam Chair of Trustees, said:
“Today’s report makes for incredibly painful reading for me, for everyone at Oxfam and for the aid sector as a whole. Oxfam exists to help improve the lives of the world’s most vulnerable people; we know we failed to protect vulnerable women in Haiti, and we accept we should have reported more clearly at the time – for that we are truly sorry. We have made improvements since 2011 but recognise we have further to go.
“The Committee is right to challenge all of us in the sector to do better – we need to give the same sustained priority to preventing and tackling sexual abuse as we do to saving lives during humanitarian emergencies. Victims and survivors must be at the heart of our approach and the report’s recommendations demand serious attention.
“Oxfam is committed to the safety and dignity of everyone who interacts with us. We are determined to strengthen women’s rights within Oxfam and in the communities in which we work. Since February, as part of our comprehensive action plan, we have tripled funding for safeguarding, established an independent whistleblowing helpline and committed to publish details of safeguarding cases twice a year.”