Oxfam sex scandal

Missy sums up the Oxfam scandal:

The biggest story over this week in the UK has been the Oxfam sex scandal.

The story broke last Friday with an investigation by The Times newspaper into the exploitation of women and use of prostitutes by Oxfam workers in Haiti after the earthquake, despite prostitution being illegal in Haiti. The report also alleged that Oxfam covered the scandal up. The Times quoted a confidential report which stated “children may have been among those sexually exploited by aid workers”, and that there had been a “culture of impunity” among some staff in Haiti. Oxfam denied they covered it up and said that the allegations of underage girls possibly being involved were not proven.

Over the weekend as the story took hold it was alleged that aid workers were asking for sex for aid, this was also denied by Oxfam, though it has now been revealed that this was the case, not just with Oxfam workers but also other charities (not named) and the UN.

Since the initial report more revelations have come out, not just about Oxfam, but other charities. All allegations are around the exploitation of the local populations of places they have been providing aid to. The UN has also been implicated, as well as other large NGO’s, however other NGO’s have not been named in the media. The allegations against Oxfam workers has extended to their stores where sexual harassment is allegedly widespread.

A former head of Global safeguarding at Oxfam has revealed that allegations of rape, sexual harassment, and sex for aid were widespread. She also said that she regularly reported these allegations to the senior management and board, and the reports were routinely ignored.

The allegations have gone past Haiti with reports now of similar behaviour in Chad prior to the Haiti earthquake.

The Charities Commission said that they were aware that there was an issue with a few of the aid workers in Haiti, but they weren’t aware of the full scale of the scandal, or that there was widespread exploitation of the local populations – predominantly women.

On Monday Oxfam met with the Government and the Chief Executive has been given a week to provide a report and explanation to the Secretary of State for Foreign Aid, and the Government will reassess the Government contribution to Oxfam. The Government give approximately 32 million pounds to Oxfam annually.

This scandal has come at a time when many in the public are questioning the UK’s foreign aid budget and the amount of money that the Government gives in foreign aid. Many are calling for funding of Oxfam to be cut.

Trump denies ‘shithole countries’ comment

A furore erupted after reporting that President Trump referred to immigrants from ‘shithole countries’ in an Oval office meeting. Trump denies using those words, but others have corroborated the original story.

Washington Post: Trump derides protections for immigrants from ‘shithole’ countries

President Trump grew frustrated with lawmakers Thursday in the Oval Office when they discussed protecting immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries as part of a bipartisan immigration deal, according to several people briefed on the meeting.

“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump said, according to these people, referring to countries mentioned by the lawmakers.

Trump then suggested that the United States should instead bring more people from countries such as Norway, whose prime minister he met with Wednesday. The president, according to a White House official, also suggested he would be open to more immigrants from Asian countries because he felt that they help the United States economically.

In addition, the president singled out Haiti, telling lawmakers that immigrants from that country must be left out of any deal, these people said.

“Why do we need more Haitians?” Trump said, according to people familiar with the meeting. “Take them out.”

This set off yet another round of criticisms and defences of Trump. Initially there was no denial from the White House.

NY Times: Trump Alarms Lawmakers With Disparaging Words for Haiti and Africa

Mr. Trump’s remarks, the latest example of his penchant for racially tinged remarks denigrating immigrants, left members of Congress from both parties attending the meeting in the Cabinet Room alarmed and mystified.

In a written statement, Raj Shah, the White House deputy press secretary, did not deny the account of the meeting on Thursday or directly address Mr. Trump’s comments.

“Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump will always fight for the American people. Like other nations that have merit-based immigration, President Trump is fighting for permanent solutions that make our country stronger by welcoming those who can contribute to our society, grow our economy and assimilate into our great nation.”

But the president’s vulgar language on a delicate issue left the fate of the broader immigration debate in limbo and had the potential to torpedo the chances of achieving the deal being sought to protect about 800,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children.

And they drew a backlash from Republican and Democratic lawmakers, many of whom called Mr. Trump’s utterances unacceptable at best and plainly racist at worst.

Representative Mia Love, a Republican of Utah who is of Haitian descent, demanded an apology from the president, saying his comments were “unkind, divisive, elitist, and fly in the face of our nation’s values.”

“As an American, I am ashamed of the president,” said Representative Luis V. Gutiérrez, Democrat of Illinois. “His comments are disappointing, unbelievable, but not surprising.” He added, we can now “say with 100 percent confidence that the president is a racist who does not share the values enshrined in our Constitution or Declaration of Independence.”

The reactions were extraordinary bipartisan rebukes to a sitting president, but they only fanned what has been a long-simmering debate over Mr. Trump’s views and talk on race.

Unsurprisingly Trump has tweeted denials.

But these denials are disputed.

Chicago Sun Times – Durbin on Trump: ‘He said those hateful things, and he said them repeatedly’

Sen. Dick Durbin on Friday morning confirmed that President Donald Trump referred to some countries as “shithole” countries during a discussion on immigration policies and said things that were “hate-filled, vile and racist.”

Durbin, who was in the meeting with Trump, made his comments just moments after Trump denied using the expletive on Twitter.

Durbin noted that there were 12 witnesses, including several other U.S. senators, in the room during Trump’s comments.

Durbin said that during the meeting Trump said things “in the course of his comments which were hate-filed, vile and racist.”

“I use those word advisedly. I understand how powerful they are. But I cannot believe in the history of the White House in that Oval Office that any president has ever spoken the words that I personally heard our president speak yesterday.”

So another shit storm over Trump, who seems to have lied in denial.

It’s hard to describe this as a new low for the Trump presidency, it just keeps bumping along the bottom.