The scandal surrounding sexual exploitation by aid workers in Haiti is continuing to deepen, with the British government set to consult the National Crime Agency (NCA).
“The recent revelations about Oxfam – not solely the actions perpetrated by a number of those staff – but the way the organisation responded to those events, should be a wake-up call to the sector,” she said.
“They let perpetrators go. They did not inform donors, their regulator or prosecuting authorities.
“It was not just the processes and procedures of that organisation that were lacking but moral leadership.”
She added: “No organisation is too big, or our work with them too complex, for me to hesitate to remove funding from them if we cannot trust them to put the beneficiaries of aid first.”
— Raheem Kassam (@RaheemKassam) February 14, 2018
Some left-liberal commentators, such as LBC host and former BBC anchor James O’Brien, have provided some cover for the aid workers, who stand accused of exploiting vulnerable women on the Caribbean island at a luxurious £1,200 a month villa dubbed “the whorehouse” by locals.
One caller to his LBC show, ‘Steve from Barking’, said he had used prostitutes while he was an aid worker in the former Yugoslavia, stating baldly: “At the end of the day, they used to hang around in the lobbies of the hotels. I was single, they were willing to do it, what right have you to criticise people like me?”
“To sit in the comfort of this studio and say that, after a day’s work in unbelievably awful circumstances, we’re now going to tell you what you can and can’t do with your own money, your own social life, and we’re going to tell those women what they can and can’t do with their own bodies, I see exactly where you’re coming from,” O’Brien commented sympathetically.
His support for desperate women in warzones and countries devastated by natural disasters decide what they “do with their own bodies” stands in sharp contrast to his apparent disdain for Formula One grid girls, who he sneered were only at races to “titillate sad old men” following a successful feminist campaign to put them out of work.
“I see exactly where you're coming from”. The words of @mrjamesob to an aid worker who admitted using prostitutes in a war zone. If this was said by @KTHopkins or @Nigel_Farage they’d have been marched out the door at @LBC and rightly so. https://t.co/5nHsH9ZojB
— Raheem Kassam (@RaheemKassam) February 13, 2018
“But I’m a little bit uncomfortable with what you’re saying,” he added.
“[I]f the woman who you were paying for sex was only selling sex because of the tragedy that you had gone to Yugoslavia to alleviate, does that put a different complexion on things or not?”
“No,” replied ‘Steve’.
“Because some places like Srebrenica or Mostar, adult women were knocking on the sides of cabs and for 40 fags, you could have sex with them.”
LBC’s write-up of the call states that “James admitted Steve had made him change his view on the topic”.