ICRC Says Fired 21 Staff Since 2015 Over Sexual Misconduct Claims

The organisation has called for change in the humanitarian sector

The organisation has called for change in the humanitarian sector

The International Committee of the Red Cross says 21 of its staff members resigned or were dismissed for paying for sexual services over the past three years.

"I am deeply saddened to report these numbers", he said.

Yves Daccord, the director of the humanitarian institution, said the organisation chose to conduct an internal review at the Red Cross after recent reports of sexual misconduct at humanitarian agencies, BBC reported.

Red Cross says the individuals had paid for sexual services and had resigned or were dismissed from the aid agency.The revelations come as the aid sector has been hit by numerous allegations of sex abuse and exploitation by workers.

Two others did not have their contracts renewed over similar circumstances, he added, explaining that the decentralised nature of the organisation with 17,000 staff worldwide made it hard to compile figures.

Five of the cases were "of a criminal nature" and were reported to the authorities, the charity said in a statement.

Relief supplies from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) are loaded into a plane on December 30, 2008 at Geneva Airport as more injured people flooded in on the fourth day of Israeli forces offensive on the Gaza Strip.

Daccord added he was "concerned that incidents that should be reported have not yet been reported, or were reported but not properly handled". Two others did not have their contracts renewed because of suspected sexual misconduct.

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"This behaviour is a betrayal of the people and the..."

"All staff are contractually bound by the ICRC's Code of Conduct, which explicitly forbids the purchase of sexual services".

"I must also accept that this is a moment of deep humility for us, as we endeavour to assess the scope of this problem and address failings", Daccord said.

"I am committed to fostering an ICRC culture that encourages staff to prevent, detect and report misconduct".

"It is so important that the silence that has surrounded this issue has been shattered".

It comes as nearly two dozen charities including Oxfam GB signed an open letter pledging to boost safeguarding, and calling on whistleblowers to report unacceptable behaviour.

In addition, during the same period, there were nine confirmed incidents of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct by staff against other adults, again none of whom were Plan International UK staff or any British citizens.

An internal Oxfam investigation from 2011 published this week confirmed seven of the charity's staff members were accused of using prostitutes at a residence in Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince.

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