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To not be shocked, just deeply saddened, by the Oxfam revelations

(43 Posts)
Cupofcake Tue 13-Feb-18 15:15:16

There seems to be such an obvious power imbalance that I'd expect the NGO world to attract the types of people who might exploit people.

That is not to say that this would apply to everyone and I'm sure the vast majority of people working for Oxfam and other such organisations are there to do good and have the best of intentions.

BeyondThePage Tue 13-Feb-18 15:21:39

I'm shocked. Shocked and fucking furious that these men have besmirched the reputation of an organisation this way. Reducing donations from the public in an instant. Donations that do one heck of a lot of good.

Bloody ridiculous. Heinous, loathsome way to behave.

Cupofcake Tue 13-Feb-18 15:26:47

Heinous, loathsome, totally agree and I wish I was shocked and surprised, but am not.
I forgot to write in my OP that on one trip abroad I met a group of women working for an NGO that said they didn't like going to UN parties because there were always so many prostitutes (their words) invited by the organisers.

HolgerDanske Tue 13-Feb-18 15:30:23

Not shocked, not surprised.

Disgusted, naturally. But sadly nothing really shocks me anymore.

ChaosNeverRains Tue 13-Feb-18 15:34:23

IMO it’s time to abolish national, corporate charities. Too much money not being spent on the ground, too much power, and huge amounts of it at the taxpayer’s expense.

Oxfam have always had a shocking reputation anyway, iirc they were one of the first charities to be outed re the amount of money they spent on administration vs actual charity work, and the figure was something like 97% going to administration/corporate spending. shock

Also, how interesting is it that their vice CEO who is a woman has resigned while the male CEO above her keeps his job?

Riverside2 Tue 13-Feb-18 15:37:26

the thing is, where you have human beings...

I never donate to big charities. I used to work for one. It was quite shocking how money was spent. Local hospice only for me now.

@ChaosNeverRains - my understanding is that the Deputy was in a key role at Oxfam at the time the events occurred, but the current CEO was working somewhere else.

scaryteacher Tue 13-Feb-18 15:41:47

I read 'White Crocodile' by KT Medina a couple of years ago, which is based around sex trafficking by an NGO. Nothing really surprised me after that....and I'm just astonished that this has taken so long to be picked up on.

I don't donate to Oxfam anyway; as Chaos says, too much in admin, not enough going where it was needed.

wijjy Tue 13-Feb-18 15:42:26

I am not shocked.

But don't just blame men in the overseas aid/charity sector. A (female) friend worked in aid in Africa and she said that quite a few of the female overseas aid workers were exploiting African boys for sex. For information these were from Scandinavian/German agencies not UK.

Justanotherlurker Tue 13-Feb-18 15:51:12

But don't just blame men in the overseas aid/charity sector. A (female) friend worked in aid in Africa and she said that quite a few of the female overseas aid workers were exploiting African boys for sex. For information these were from Scandinavian/German agencies not UK.

Yeah that has been happening in the Calais Jungle as well.

Cupofcake Tue 13-Feb-18 15:52:28

wijjy definitely not just men.

Amortentia Tue 13-Feb-18 15:56:42

I’m not remotely shocked. I spent time in Cambodia about 20 years ago and there loads of NGO’s (although not Oxfam) getting up to all sorts of shady and inappropriate stuff. I was not surprised when the stuff about UN peacekeepers came out either, although I’m very saddened that they all pretty much got away with what they were doing. Nothing changes, and nobody in power cares enough to deal with this.

I seriously think it’s time that agencies that send people to work on the ground should only use biological women.

ChaosNeverRains Tue 13-Feb-18 16:02:45

<yawn> can we not have one thread that doesn’t end up with someone touting their anti trans agenda....?

This thread is to do with the conduct of charities, nothing to do with “non biological” anything.

TBH it’s not just the whole sex trafficking issue though is it? It’s to do with where and how the money is spent, other things that go on. The National Autistic society were also in the news last week because of abuse that has been proven to go on in its care homes, something to do with residents having been thrown into swimming pools as punishment and so on. angry angry

FairyLightFiend Tue 13-Feb-18 16:06:39

chaos I’ve got no idea where you get that figure from, but it’s ridiculous! Oxfam are very open about their running costs, and only a cursory glance at their website will tell you that it’s about 10%. A further 8% is spent on fundraising to encourage further donations. They’re actually one of the more efficient charities.

It’s totally understandable to be saddened by what has been happening on Oxfam’s (and others) watch, but it’s morally questionable to be discouraging people from supporting them based on such ignorance. Whatever anyone’s opinions of aid charities, the fact is that they are staffed by a huge number of people working their arses off for shit money because they really care about the cause. The work that they do is invaluable.

AntArcticFox Tue 13-Feb-18 16:06:52

Not surprised.

There was an article in the Guardian Charity sector a while back and there was a throwaway comment about using prostitutes I think..anyway it caused a bit of a stir at the time but it obviously hadn't crossed the author's mind that there was any issue of power imbalance. All very much "It's normal innit.."

MotherofTerriers Tue 13-Feb-18 16:09:35

I'm not shocked, or surprised, and its certainly not just Oxfam
So sad

ChaosNeverRains Tue 13-Feb-18 16:10:27

Oxfam may have got their act together more recently but that most certainly wasn’t always the case.

Also, I have no issue with paying people their actual worth i.e. accountants, workers on the ground, people doing an actual job, but 150k plus for a chief exec who more often than not is just a mouthpiece and has no actual experience of that which they head up is obscene.

PerkingFaintly Tue 13-Feb-18 16:15:50

Not sure which article you're talking about, AntArcticFox, but the Guardian has been covering sexual abuse in the humanitarian sector (not just by NGOs) for some time.

ChaosNeverRains Tue 13-Feb-18 16:17:50

www.snouts-in-the-trough.com/archives/6022

AntArcticFox Tue 13-Feb-18 16:24:43

It wasn't "covering" sexual abuse. It contained casual reference to a pretty amoral lifestyle.

PerkingFaintly Tue 13-Feb-18 16:30:17

A lot of this stuff has been reasonably well reported over the years if you've been looking in the right places.

The UK's suddenly decided to give a shit: better late than never.

I was an aid worker in Haiti. The appetite for debauchery was shocking
www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/feb/13/aid-worker-haiti-quake-debauchery-shocking

Aid workers and sexual violence: survivors speak out
www.theguardian.com/working-in-development/2017/nov/13/forced-to-have-oral-sex-with-a-colleague-aid-workers-speak-out-on-assault-harassment

UN peacekeepers in South Sudan 'ignored rape and assault of aid workers'
www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/15/south-sudan-aid-worker-rape-attack-united-nations-un

GirlsBlouse17 Tue 13-Feb-18 16:40:30

It saddens me that this has become such a major storyline on the BBC each day because the ones who will suffer because of the resulting reduction in funding are the vulnerable people in the poor countries.

An issue that could bring Oxfam down has been brought about by a minority of rogue workers when the majority do an amazing job of trying to relieve poverty and suffering around the world. Oxfam has failed to address the issue but now is having to take steps to review it's systems to deal with this in future. There will always be rogue workers in any organisation but if Oxfam is doing it's best now to sort this out, then please keep the funding and donations coming in as it is important Oxfam continues its good work around the world.

Amortentia Tue 13-Feb-18 16:47:07

*<yawn> can we not have one thread that doesn’t end up with someone touting their anti trans agenda....?

This thread is to do with the conduct of charities, nothing to do with “non biological” anything.*

Well so far charities run by women such as Women’s Aid and Rape crisis have managed to avoid being caught systematically abusing those they seek to help. That’s not anti-trans, it’s an acknowledgement that the culture and behaviour in women’s organisations is different from those predominantly led my males.

GirlsBlouse17 Tue 13-Feb-18 16:47:15

Chaos 97% admin is a ridiculous figure to quote. No idea where you got that figure from but it is dangerous because it is comments like that that stop people donating. If it was 97%, the Charity Commission would have been on its case about that a long time ago

InsomniacAnonymous Tue 13-Feb-18 16:53:59

"I seriously think it’s time that agencies that send people to work on the ground should only use biological women."

Haven't you read the thread? Women aid workers have been exploiting people for sex too! In fact it was well-publicised that it had gone on in the Calais jungle.

PerkingFaintly Tue 13-Feb-18 16:56:49

Basically I agree with the OP.

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