After the huge controversy following the shocking revelation that staff of humanitarian organization Oxfam solicited sexual favors during its handling of the Haiti crisis, comes another potential scandal involving another huge humanitarian group. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Friday that more than 20 staffers have left the organization since 2015 after being discovered to have paid for sexual services. It also called for change in a humanitarian sector facing “a watershed moment.”
ICRC secretary general Yves Daccord said the Geneva-based organization had already conducted a thorough internal review. Daccord said that since 2015, they’ve identified 21 staff members who were either dismissed for paying sexual services or resigned during an internal inquiry. He also added that two others did not have their contracts renewed over similar circumstances.
The revelations come as the aid sector has been shaken by multiple allegations of sex abuse and exploitation by workers. Daccord admitted that it was the recent reports of sexual misconduct from other humanitarian organizations that pushed ICRC to also conduct an internal probe.
Unlike Oxfam which did not explicitly bar its employees from hiring prostitutes, the ICRC has forbidden “the purchase of sexual services” since 2006, even in areas where prostitution is legal.
Related coverage: https://thegoldwater.com/news/18251-Video-Oxfam-Sex-Scandal-Widens
Another humanitarian organization, the children’s aid agency Plan International also confirmed reports of six cases of sexual abuse and child exploitation by staff or associates.
ICRC counts 17,000 members of staff scattered worlwide. Daccord also admitted that such behavior is a “betrayal of the people and the communities we are there to serve.” He also confessed that ICRC has its own shortcomings and failures in preventing the abuses. He added: “It is against human dignity and we should have been more vigilant in preventing this.”
ICRC also promised that all future allegations against any of their staff will be “acted upon firmly and consistently”, and that any employee found to have violated the ICRC’s code of conduct will be held accountable.
#ICRC #Oxfam #PlanInternational #RedCross #MeToo #TimesUp #sexualmisconduct #MAGA [/tw_tags]