Former Oxfam official hits out at 'lies and exaggerations'

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Belgian man at the centre of the Oxfam scandal denies allegations

Oxfam faced fresh pressure on Tuesday after a former senior member of staff said her concerns about "a culture of sexual abuse" were not taken seriously by the charity's bosses.

The former aid worker said that he meant to release a statement...

The British charity has come under sharp criticism for its handling of allegations that staff members hired prostitutes in Haiti following the devastating 2010 quake.

The humanitarian aid group, a consortium of worldwide charities, is under fire for allegedly failing to tell the British government's Charity Commission the full story regarding the purported behavior.

He was then hired by Oxfam as a country director in Chad before moving to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Haiti, IRIN reports. "Therefore, I am asking all worldwide NGOs that the Scottish Government funds to confirm that you have robust safeguarding policies in place to protect vulnerable groups, and that if you have become aware of specific incidents, that they have been referred to the relevant authorities where necessary".

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Speaking in Stockholm yesterday, Mordaunt said the revelations about Oxfam - which received £31.7m in taxpayer funding past year - should be a "wake-up call" for the sector.

Penny Mordaunt met with Lynne Owens, Director General of the National Crime Agency, and Home Office officials.

Ten per cent of staff in some countries had been sexually assaulted by colleagues or witnessed abuse, she added.

Van Hauwermeiren told the paper that he would respond further through a lawyer in due course, adding: "It is especially tough that my family no longer want to see me".

Women's rights group Solidarité Fanm Ayisyen, based in Port-au-Prince, in the past cut ties with groups when it disapproved of their handling of sexual misconduct rumors, said its head Sabine Lamour.

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"Our approach to this matter would have been different had the full details that have been reported been disclosed to us at the time". "We were categorically told there was no abuse of beneficiaries involved in the allegations".

"We are now checking whether there were any issues in Ethiopia while Gurpreet Singh was there".

Oxfam said an internal investigation revealed examples of bullying, inappropriate sexual behavior and intimidation of colleagues.

"Even though reports of abuse have steadily increased, MSF is aware that abuse goes under-reported", the charity said.

Merlin later merged with Save The Children, which says it does not have access to Merlin's records.

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"Now let's be clear here, in Haiti prostitution is illegal, so in Haiti these actions were illegal."

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