Oxfam pressed over allegations senior aid staff used prostitutes in Haiti

Oxfam accused of covering up use of prostitutes by aid workers

Oxfam denies cover-up over 'Haiti prostitutes'

An internal inquiry into sexual exploitation, downloading of pornography, bullying and intimidation found there had been a "culture of impunity" among staff during the operation.

A cholera outbreak that killed thousands of Haitians was traced to United Nations peacekeeping troops sent in after the natural disaster. "Colleagues in England investigated it and also reported it to authorities".

"It can not be ruled out that any of the prostitutes were under-aged", it went on to state.

One source told the newspaper that there was footage of a "full-on Caligula orgy" with women wearing Oxfam t-shirts.

The Times said Oxfam's country editor, Roland van Hauwermeiren, resigned without disciplinary action despite allegedly admitting hiring prostitutes.

Responding to the report, Oxfam denied it was behind a "cover-up" to protect its reputation. Oxfam has, however, claimed it did in fact disclose this to the charities regulator.

"Oxfam treats any allegations of misconduct extremely seriously", a spokesman told AFP.

It said as soon as the charity became aware of the allegations, it immediately launched an internal investigation with the "primary aim" of rooting out and taking action against those involved.

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'The investigation was announced publicly and staff members were suspended pending the outcome'.

Oxfam aid workers were taking part in "Caligula-style orgies" with prostitutes in the wake of the 2010 quake which devastated the island and left 220,000 dead.

The charity said it had allowed Van Hauwermeiren to resign on the basis that he fully cooperated with and supported the investigation.

On Friday morning, Liz Truss, the chief secretary to the Treasury, branded the revelations "shocking, sickening and depressing".

In response to the report published by The Times, Oxfam released a public statement, which read, "The behavior of some members of Oxfam staff uncovered in Haiti in 2011 was totally unacceptable, contrary to our values and the high standards we expect of our staff".

The report raised concerns that some of the prostitutes were underage, stating: 'It can not be ruled out that any of the prostitutes were underage'.

A Charity Commission spokeswoman said it was engaged with Oxfam on more recent allegations of sexual harassment, reported widely previous year, and has demanded that the charity provide details of the claims in Haiti.

None of the accused from the report have faced any criminal charges.

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