Oxfam sacked 10 people over safeguarding concerns last year, accounts show

Charity

Oxfam GB sacked 10 people over safeguarding concerns last year, latest documents show.

The charity concluded 38 safeguarding investigations in 2021/22 and upheld or partially upheld complaints in 24 of those cases, according to its annual report for the year to the end of March 2022, which was published yesterday.

The accounts say the charity is “determined to continue to improve our safeguarding so that our work takes place in as safe an environment as possible”.

The government yesterday lifted its ban on Oxfam GB bidding for public contracts, which had been introduced in April 2021 after bullying and sexual abuse allegations were made against its staff in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

The accounts say Oxfam GB investigated complaints against staff, volunteers, contractors and members of local communities overseas last year.

As a result of these investigations, 10 people were dismissed from the charity and it issued three formal warnings.

Oxfam GB took other action, including demoting individuals and sending them for additional training, in 12 cases.

The charity’s safeguarding team investigated 22 complaints related to its international work and 16 related to its charity shops in the UK.

A spokesperson said Oxfam GB had reported all safeguarding allegations and its findings to the Charity Commission as well as relevant governments and donors.

The accounts also show that Oxfam GB estimates it lost just under £250,000 to corruption in 2021/22.

The report says: “The majority of incidents were in our procurement activities.

“Oxfam operates in many challenging environments where the risk of corruption is among the highest in the world.”

The losses are equivalent to less than 1 per cent of the charity’s total annual income.

Oxfam GB returned six donations in 2021/22 after concerns that the money had been collected from people who were vulnerable, the accounts show.

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