OXFAM SCANDAL: Sex abuse claims reported to Oxfam could be tip of iceberg admits charity
SEX abuse within under fire Oxfam is likely to be taking place, but not being reported or investigated, the charity has admitted. There were 151 allegations of sexual misconduct reported to the charity in the two years 2015/16 and 2016/17.
However, these are not believed to be the only incidents of sexual misconduct that happened over the period, charity bosses accept.
Oxfam has seen a sharp rise in the number of sex abuse allegations made in the wake of the damning Haiti earthquake scandal of 2011, after the charity strengthened reporting procedures.
However, according to its latest annual report, some instances of sex abuse will still go undetected.
A section of the 2016/17 annual report about risks faced by the charity looked at safeguarding issues.
The report said: “Under-reporting is recognised within the sector as the major barrier to tackling sexual exploitation and abuse in delivering humanitarian and development programmes.
“By establishing a dedicated Safeguarding team we have raised the visibility of our Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse policy and reporting procedures.
“We believe that the overall increases in the number of allegations that we have seen in recent years show that we are improving awareness of this important issue and giving victims more confidence to report incidents.”
Oxfam told Express.co.uk it expects to see even more reports in the future, before the situation stabilises.
A spokesman said: “Given the increase in the level of debate on the issue of sexual harassment we would expect more people will come forward and report things they have suffered or witnessed.
“This would mean the number of reports will continue to rise.
“This means we are catching more allegations of incidents and can investigate and act on this.
“We cannot predict when the number of reports will start coming down.
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