An Oxfam shop is seen, in London, Britain, 11 February 2018
BRUSSELS - The EU on Monday ordered Oxfam to explain itself over a 2011 prostitution scandal in Haiti, warning charities that the bloc would cut their funding if they breached ethical standards.
UK-based Oxfam has been left reeling by reports in The Times newspaper that senior staff hired young sex workers in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake that devastated the island.
Oxfam crisis deepens as regulator says charities report over 1,000 sexual abuse incidents every year https://t.co/UYWy6oUb37— The Independent (@Independent) February 12, 2018
The charity&39;s chiefs have been summoned by the British government to explain their handling of the scandal amid accusations they covered up the episode.
The European Union said it took a "zero tolerance" approach to misconduct by NGO partners.
"We expect Oxfam to fully clarify the allegations with maximum transparency as a matter of urgency, and we&39;re ready to review and, if needed, cease funding to any partner who is not living up to the required high ethical standards," spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic told reporters.
The EU provided Oxfam with 1.7 million euros in funding in 2011, she said.
Oxfam, which employs about 5,000 staff and has 23,000 more volunteers, has announced new measures to tackle sexual abuse cases, though chief executive Mark Goldring has insisted there was no cover-up in 2011.
Oxfam CEO Mark Goldring has denied the charity lied to the government in 2011 about what happened in Haiti when reporting it only as “misconduct”. He told @itvnews: “I recognise by telling half a story it feels that way, and with hindsight we should’ve told the whole story.” pic.twitter.com/hWqOAAx7SU— Daniel Hewitt (@DanielHewittITV) February 11, 2018
The charity is accused of failing to warn other aid agencies about the staff involved, which allowed them to get jobs among vulnerable people in other disaster areas.