A damaging interim record revealed Oxfam's inability to tackle a charity environment that allowed sexual misconduct and intimidation to behave unchecked.
the report, produced by an independent commission, warned that there was no uniform complaint handling system and stated that there are "drastic inconsistencies" in the way that safeguard issues are dealt with in the more than 90 countries in which Oxfam International operates.
The review added that several staff members in different Oxfam the offices feel that bullying is ubiquitous and have expressed concerns about the lack of confidentiality of the investigation process.
"At the heart of this problem is the way power is managed, the trust won and kept. The risks associated with reporting sexual exploitation and abuse allegations are often high, "says the report.
The interim evaluation, conducted by a team of political and legal experts, was put in place by Oxfam following reports that the charity hidden claims that his staff paid for sex during a relief mission to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.
Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam International, said the report had been released at a crucial time for the charity, and had promised that the recommendations would be used to reinforce the ongoing improvements in safeguarding .
The committee welcomed Oxfam's efforts to strengthen its policies, but warned that its efforts had so far been focused on protecting staff in the workplace and not on the communities they serve.
"Oxfam has apparently imposed reporting systems that have not been developed with the communities or with their contribution," said the report's authors. They added that, in some cases, community members had not received enough information about the abuse reporting process.
The interim report focuses on personnel policies, as its research addresses the concerns of communities and partner organizations. The independent commission is expected to complete its work in May 2019.
"It is painfully clear that Oxfam is not safe from sexual and other forms of abuse," said Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International. Photography: Andrew Kelly / Reuters
A separate investigation The Charity Commission, which reviews Oxfam GB's governance, management and safeguard policies, is also ongoing.
According to the study, sexual misconduct is just one of the issues reported by staff, which also raised concerns about elitism, racism, colonial behavior and sexism. According to staff, these issues affect the relationships between employees, partners and communities served by Oxfam.
Some employees whose English is second, third or fourth language feel that they are not being heard, the magazine added.
The commission noted Oxfam's adoption of a "zero tolerance" policy on sexual misconduct, which provides that investigations will continue even if the accused resigns. But he added that former staff members, including survivors and whistleblowers, felt "deeply frustrated and saddened by the lack of accountability they have suffered". In some cases, the staff thought they were expelled from the organization after reporting an incident.
The commission added that there were concerns that the accused employees had not been held responsible. Instead, they were either protected by senior executives, displaced in the organization or their contracts were simply not renewed.
The report adds that Oxfam should do more to recognize that men, LGBTQ people and those who consider themselves non-binary may also be subject to misconduct.
Byanyima said the charity acknowledged that he needed to do more to improve his work. "It is painfully obvious that Oxfam is not immune to sexual abuse or other forms of abuse resulting from an abuse of power. . To those who have behaved in such an unacceptable way: we are sorry, we will do so and we will urgently follow up on all the cases that the commission has sent us. "
Oxfam added in a statement that it has made progress in implementing a ten-point plan to strengthen backup. This included the recruitment of 15 additional experts to safeguard staff in its confederation in recent months. In addition, it has improved its centralized recruitment and referral system and provides new tools to partner organizations to help them improve backup.
The charity also committed to almost triple the amount it spends on its gender justice programs around the world, from 5.3% of its budget to 15%, or more 54 million euros (£ 48 million).