A sexual misconduct scandal at Oxfam deepened as the charity's former head of safeguarding revealed teenage volunteers at shops in Britain had been abused and overseas staff had traded aid for sex.
Helen Evans accused her bosses of ignoring her evidence and her pleas for more resources, forcing her to quit in despair. She said staff had been accused of rape and that sexual abuse by shop managers in British stores against young volunteers was covered up. In some countries 10 per cent of staff had been sexually assaulted by colleagues or witnessed abuse, she added.
Her allegations emerged just hours after Penny Lawrence, the charity's deputy chief executive, quit over the scandal and the British Government announced that it would be launching a unit to investigate sex abuse in the aid sector.
Any suggestion that the the furore was subsiding was quashed by Evans' new revelations which included that volunteers in Britain were not subjected to criminal checks and that her complaints were dismissed by Oxfam bosses, the Charity Commission and the Home Office.
There have been calls for criminal charges to be brought against Oxfam executives and staff if they had turned a blind eye to abuse overseas.
Oxfam executives, meanwhile, met with Britain's International Development Secretary, Penny Mordaunt, yesterday in an attempt to assure the minister that the charity could be trusted with the £32 million ($61m) of public finding it receives.
Evans said that in the course of one day in 2015 she received reports from Oxfam's global operation of "a woman being coerced to have sex in a humanitarian response by another aid worker, another case where a woman had been coerced in exchange for aid and another one where it had come to our attention where a member of staff had been struck off for sexual abuse and hadn't disclosed that and we were then concerned about what he might be doing".
Her comments came just 24 hours after the charity insisted that it had not detailed the allegations surrounding the use of prostitutes, some of whom were said to be underage, because they did not involve "sex for aid".