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British charity Oxfam says it will strengthen its internal safeguards in response to allegations staff members working in Haiti following the devastating 2010 natural disaster engaged in sexual misconduct. The organization added that it is "committed to ensuring that such behaviour is not tolerated".

"Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do to stop individuals falsifying references, getting others that were dismissed to act as referees and claiming it was a reference from Oxfam", a spokeswoman added.

"I have so much respect for Oxfam, they do great work, but this is a sector wide problem", the former staffer told the Observer.

Oxfam has been at the centre of a firestorm of controversy after it was revealed that Oxfam staff had paid for sex whilst working in Haiti.

Secretary of State for International Development Penny Mordaunt has condemned the behaviour of some Oxfam staff members as a "complete betrayal", as she warned the charity the "scandal" had put its relationship with the Government at risk.

Mordaunt said she was taking action to make sure charities were "properly regulated" after the allegations.

The British Red Cross said a "small number of cases of harassment" had been reported in the UK.

Oxfam chief executive Mark Goldring apologised on Saturday, saying he was deeply ashamed of Oxfam's behaviour.

The charity made a decision to allow Mr Van Hauwermeiren to step down from his position and crucially didn't share details of the termination of contract with his new employer.

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Oxfam, one of the world's most prominent relief agencies, could lose its funding from the British government over reports that its workers exploited survivors of a massive quake in Haiti, and possibly other disasters, for sex.

She told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show: I am affording them the opportunity to tell me in person what they did after these events and I'm going to be looking to see if they are displaying the moral leadership that I think they need to now.

"If they do not hand over all the information they have from their investigation subsequently to the relevant authorities including the Charity Commission and prosecuting authorities, then I can not work with them any more".

"I had quotes from the United Nations report", she said.

"It doesn't matter whether you've got a whistleblowing hotline, it doesn't matter if you've got good safeguarding practices in place".

Oxfam's chairwoman of United Kingdom trustees, Caroline Thomson, said it was working to "address the underlying cultural issues that allowed this behaviour to happen".

Ms Mordaunt replied: 'Well, quite'.

In a further warning to the charity, she told the BBC: "If they do not hand over all the information they have from their investigation and subsequently to the relevant authorities, including the Charity Commission and prosecuting authorities, then I can not work with them any more as an aid delivery partner". "What is so disturbing about Oxfam is that when this was reported to them, they completely failed to do the right thing", she said.


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