Category Archives: Haiti

The abuse of children is not constrained by borders | Chloe Setter

With child exploitation rife among aid workers and tourists, better safeguarding by recruiters and governments is vital

When sex offender Richard Huckle wrote an abuse manual entitled “Paedophiles and poverty: child love guide on how to select deprived victims and avoid detection”, he boasted that “impoverished kids are definitely much easier to seduce than middle-class western kids”.

It may seem unfair to mention a notorious criminal like Huckle alongside those implicated in the current aid scandal. Yet there are common structural problems exposed by these types of offences, which have contributed to an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality.

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Source: gad

'Aid staff would pay more': sex workers in Haiti speak out

On the streets of Port-au-Prince, women in the sex trade discuss the devastation of the 2010 quake – and remember the influx of clients who would offer five times what a local could

Natasha stands alone on an unlit trash-strewn pavement at the side of the road to Pétion-Ville, the upmarket hillside suburb in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince. “I’m here every night,” she says, eyeing SUVs as they speed past on a sticky February evening. “I want to do something else, but there isn’t anything … this is my only choice.”

The 31-year-old mother of three has been a sex worker in the city for nine years. Like almost everyone here, she lost relatives in the catastrophic earthquake that devastated the capital in January 2010. “My sister, nephew and cousin were all crushed by their own houses,” she says, with a dead-eyed stare. “I was living in a different house, that’s why me and my kids are still alive.”

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Source: gad

Red Cross finds 21 cases of sexual misconduct in last three years

Internal review finds ICRC staff were dismissed or resigned for paying for sexual services

More than 20 employees of the International Committee of the Red Cross have left the organisation for sexual misconduct since 2015, the humanitarian institution said.

The ICRC director general, Yves Daccord, said 21 staff members were either dismissed or resigned for paying for sexual services in the last three years. Another two workers suspected of sexual misconduct did not have their contracts renewed at the Geneva-based organisation.

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Source: gad

Oxfam sacked Haiti boss last year over claims of bad behaviour

Dismissal for ‘inappropriate behaviour’ not related to sexual abuse scandal, charity says

Oxfam’s country director in Haiti was sacked last year following allegations of “mismanagement” and “inappropriate behaviour”, the charity said.

Damien Berrendorf, who served in the role from 2012 to 2017, was dismissed after the allegations were reported through the charity’s own whistleblowing line.

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Source: gad

Minnie Driver cuts ties with Oxfam over sex scandal

Actor had been an ambassador for the charity and said she was devastated by revelations

Minnie Driver has become the first celebrity patron of Oxfam to step down in the wake of the sexual misconduct scandal.

The 48-year-old actor, who was one of the charity’s 16 ambassadors, said she was “in no uncertain terms” withdrawing her support for the charity despite working with it for more than 20 years.

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Source: gad

As a former aid worker, I’m not shocked by the Oxfam revelations | Shaista Aziz

A culture of bullying, harassment and racism is rife among agencies around the world. This is an industry in need of reform

When I read the revelations that Oxfam workers had paid for sex in Haiti, perhaps from underage girls, while the country was trying to recover from an earthquake, I wasn’t surprised. Nor was I surprised when it became clear that it had been covered up, and that further allegations of sexual abuse, bullying, harassment and intimidation in the aid sector soon followed. Don’t get me wrong – these stories are sickening – but most people in the industry will have at the very least heard rumours of this kind of behaviour.

I spent more than 15 years as an aid worker specialising in communications for a number of organisations, including Oxfam, where I worked for five years as an emergencies communications specialist and media coordinator. My work took me from Haiti, Syria and Lebanon to Bangladesh, Tajikistan and Jordan. I had the privilege of meeting incredible people and worked with some brilliant people, as well as some not so brilliant.

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Source: gad

Oxfam scandal: charity's deputy chief executive resigns

Penny Lawrence quits as Haiti calls on charity to identify staff who used sex workers

Oxfam’s deputy chief executive has resigned after it emerged that concerns about the behaviour of senior staff in Haiti and Chad were raised with the charity but not properly handled.

Penny Lawrence, who was the international programmes director when the concerns were reported, quit on Monday.

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Source: gad

Queen Creole: Mélissa Laveaux on telling Haiti's story through folksong, spirituals and Vodou

The Canadian singer’s striking new album is themed around the US occupation of her parents’ homeland – but is a lilting, joyful record about omens, civil treachery and sexuality

On a dull January afternoon, Mélissa Laveaux arrives at her record label’s Paris office apologising for her lateness. Disorganisation is, she says, a lifelong affliction.But the 33-year-old is in the middle of so many self-directed projects that it’s hard to take her claims too seriously. It takes a polymath to simultaneously mastermind a play about Haitian spirits, a multimedia project about a 19th-century sculptor and an album about the American occupation of Haiti in the early 20th century.

The album is Radyo Siwèl, Laveaux’s third: a lilting, burnished, joyful full-band collection that combines Haitian kompa guitar with calypso and soca, courtesy of Toronto-based Trinidadian guitarist Drew Gonsalves.

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Source: gad

‘We will survive Mr Trump’: Haitian Americans reject Oval Office slur

The president called the country they came from a ‘shithole’ and removed protected status for some. There is fear – but also a determination to forgive

Rony Ponthieux hasn’t had too much time to be angry about Donald Trump calling Haiti a “shithole”. As a nurse working the night shift at Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital, he’s too busy saving lives.

Jean Monestime, the first Haitian American elected to the Miami-Dade county commission, is insulted: in response to the Oval Office outburst that drew worldwide condemnation, he calls Trump a liar, a racist and a bigot.

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Source: gad