Oxfam Timeline: How the Haiti scandal unfolded

Catch up with all the details from the Oxfam-Haiti affair

September 2011: Six Oxfam members of staff in Haiti leave the charity after being found guilty of misconduct. Oxfam’s country director for Haiti, Roland van Hauwermeiren, resigns. Penny Lawrence, GB international director at Oxfam, says the action of those who have left "is not representative of the strong commitment shown and the hard work carried out by Oxfam’s team in Haiti."

October 2017: The Charity Commission contacts Oxfam after The Times newspaper alerted it to claims that former Oxfam country director for Nigeria, Lesley Agams, was sacked in 2010 after she made a complaint of sexual assault against a former colleague. Oxfam says no evidence could be found to substantiate the allegations.

December 2017: The Charity Commission tells Oxfam to review its culture, management and governance arrangements in the wake of the reports of the charity’s handling of sexual misconduct claims. Oxfam will report back to the regulator on the progress of its reviews before the end of March 2018.

9 February 2018: The Times reports that three Oxfam employees resigned and four were sacked for gross misconduct after the charity concluded an investigation into allegations of sexual exploitation, bullying and intimidation, and the downloading of pornography. The charity confirms that one of those who resigned was van Hauwermeiren.

12 February 2018: Oxfam’s chair, Caroline Thompson, announces changes to the charity’s safeguarding policies, including a new whistleblowing helpline for staff. Penny Lawrence, who was programme director in Haiti in 2011, expresses her "shame" over the scandal and resigns as deputy chief executive.

12 February 2018: After holding crisis talks with senior Oxfam executives, Penny Mordaunt, the international development secretary, says government funding to Oxfam is not guaranteed, adding that it must now demonstrate moral leadership to address the scandal and deliver progress on its assurances over safeguarding. The Charity Commission opens a statutory inquiry into Oxfam.

13 February 2018: Helen Evans, Oxfam’s former head of global safeguarding between 2012 and 2015, says that senior staff at the charity and the Charity Commission were both aware of concerns about Oxfam’s safeguarding policies and that she had repeatedly raised concerns about allegations of sexual abuse by Oxfam employees both abroad and at home.

14 February 2018: A poll commissioned for Third Sector finds that more than 60 per cent of people in the UK are less likely to donate to Oxfam as a result of the crisis. Labour questions the efficacy of the Charity Commission after concerns of safeguarding were raised by Evans in 2015.

Oxfam crisis logo

16 February 2018: Oxfam’s chief executive, Mark Goldring, claims people are "gunning" for the charity and that the reaction to the scandal is "out of proportion to the level of culpability". The charity launches an action plan to improved its safeguarding and its response to allegations of sexual misconduct.

19 February 2018: Brendan Cox resigns as trustee of the charity he set up in memory of his murdered wife, the former MP Jo Cox, following allegations of sexual misconduct in his previous role as policy director at Save the Children.

20 February 2018: Goldring tells MPs on the International Development Select Committee that Oxfam has lost around 7,000 regular donors since the scandal broke and the corporate partners were "reserving judgements".

21 February 2018: Mordaunt tells MPs in the House of Commons that Oxfam was guilty of a "complete betrayal of trust" of its beneficiaries, volunteers, staff and the British public in its mishandling of the response to the claims of sexual misconduct and repeats that government funding is not guaranteed.

23 February 2018: Haiti’s government stops Oxfam GB from working in the country for two months while it investigates how the charity handled the sexual exploitation cases. Oxfam says it is "committed to cooperate with their investigation". Justin Forsyth resigns as deputy executive director of Unicef after allegations emerged that he sent inappropriate texts to junior staff when he was chief executive of Save the Children.

26 February 2018: Mordaunt warns that she will stop funding organisations that do not live up to expected standards in the wake of the scandal as 22 UK aid charities, including Oxfam, pledge to increase the amount of resources they spend on safeguarding.

5 March 2018: At a meeting with aid charities and the Charity Commission, Mordaunt says DfID will introduce new standards that all aid organisations would have to comply with in order to receive government funds. She describes the standards as "world-leading, tough and exciting".

6 March 2018: The DfID says that 80 new safeguarding incidents have been reported by 26  charities to the Charity Commission after it had called for assurances following the Oxfam scandal.

9 March 2018: The bad publicity about Oxfam and other aid agencies has barely dented public trust in charities, according to research from the Charities Aid Foundation.

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