Oxfam sacks three staff members amid abuse of power and sexual misconduct scandal

Oxfam has dismissed three members of staff following an investigation into allegations of abuse of power in its operation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Allegations were upheld against a fourth member of staff, whose contract had expired before the end of the investigation. If they had remained a member of staff they would have been dismissed and the outcome of the investigation has been noted on their record, said the charity.

Following the investigation allegations of sexual misconduct were upheld against two of the workers and accusations of nepotism were upheld against three.

Meanwhile, bullying and intimidation allegations were upheld against one of the accused.

In addition, allegations of inappropriate relationships and a failure to manage conflicts of interest were upheld against one of the staff members involved.

Oxfam says the investigation involving the four people has been completed, however “investigations continue into further allegations of misconduct, with one member of staff currently suspended”.

“I apologise to everyone who has been hurt by these abuses of power and I hope the action we have taken demonstrates our resolve to tackle all forms of misconduct,” said Oxfam GB chief executive Danny Sriskandarajah.

“Oxfam is committed to doing all we can to prevent abuses of power and to taking action where wrongdoing is found.  We strongly encourage anyone who has concerns to report them, so we can hold those responsible for misconduct accountable.

“I would like to thank all those who have assisted the investigation so far, especially survivors and witnesses. I am also grateful to our staff in DRC who continue to work tirelessly to deliver our lifesaving work.”

The investigation is being carried out by an external team of investigators commissioned by Oxfam GB. This got underway in November 2020.

Oxfam adds that it has kept the Charity Commission, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and its donors informed.

In April the FCDO suspended funding for Oxfam during the investigation. The government said it will not consider any new funding to the charity until the issues have been resolved.

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