Our response to the sex scandal in Oxfam Great Britain

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A message from Oxfam Hong Kong's Council Chair and Director General to supporters

We are deeply shocked and saddened by the news reports of the sex scandals of Oxfam in the past few days. Our supporters, donors, volunteers and programme partners are disappointed. We offer our apologies to you all.

Although the incidents happened in Oxfam Great Britain (OGB), as member of the Oxfam Confederation, we cannot stand aside. We share the same vision and mission together in fighting against the injustice of poverty in the world.

An apology or the resignation of the Deputy Director of OGB may not easily rebuild public trust. But we are determined and confident that our effective poverty alleviation work carried out in the highest standards and accountability will gain public support again.

For the past 42 years, the Council of Oxfam Hong Kong has played a governance role in monitoring the use of funds, and our high standard of financial accountability has been widely recognized. We will request OGB to give us a stronger guarantee of monitoring measures for the use of programme funds provided by us.

Public trust in Oxfam around the world has been tarnished, but we know Oxfam will become stronger after learning the lessons from these painful challenges. Our confidential whistleblowing mechanism will become even more sophisticated in preventing sexual abuse and misconduct, our vetting of staff will be strengthened, and our transparency will be increased to facilitate public scrutiny. A summary of the urgent, comprehensive and accountable response action plan is available here.

Our staff morale is shaken, but our determination to fight against poverty and injustice has not changed. We recall the visit by the two of us (together with Oxfam International colleagues) to the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh last December, witnessing how Oxfam’s high-quality water, sanitation and hygiene system is helping the pressing needs of the refugees. We also visited rural villages in China, India and Ethiopia, witnessing how small farmers’ livelihoods improved through organic farming supported by Oxfam. All this humanitarian, poverty alleviation and advocacy work supported by countless donors will not stop.

Cheung Yuk Tong, Council Chair of Oxfam Hong Kong
Trini Leung, Director General of Oxfam Hong Kong

15 Feb 2018