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Oxfam: Former staff member dismissed by Cafod after abuse claims

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    Haiti in 2010Image copyright Getty Images
    Image caption The sacked worker had been among the Oxfam staff in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake

    A Catholic charity has sacked a worker after it emerged he had been accused of sexually exploiting vulnerable people in Haiti while working for Oxfam.

    Cafod said it was “unaware” of the claims until they were contacted by the Times, which broke the Oxfam story.

    It comes as a senior Oxfam figure says she is aware of past sex abuse claims against the charity’s workers in Asia.

    Meanwhile, charity Doctors Without Borders said it had handled 24 cases of harassment or sexual abuse last year.

    In a statement Cafod, an international development charity, said that when the employee had applied for the job in 2014, it had received two references, including one from Oxfam, but that it was not told of the allegations.

    Earlier this week, when Cafod became aware of the issue, the staff member was put on leave while the charity investigated.

    He was dismissed on Wednesday when Oxfam confirmed the allegations he was among its workers who was working in Haiti in 2011 after the earthquake, and had been accused of sexual misconduct.

    In its statement Cafod said it was “committed to a zero-tolerance approach to misconduct” and the employee’s failure to disclose the circumstances of his departure from Oxfam were in breach of its code of behaviour.

    It added that it has not received any complaints about the employee during his tenure.

    The charity has now also reviewed two historical cases of sexual misconduct allegations against other employees. One yielded no evidence and one saw a staff member dismissed.

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