A portrait of Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah wearing a black Oxfam vest.
A portrait of Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah wearing a black Oxfam vest.

All forms of sexual misconduct are abhorrent and an affront to everything we stand for.”

Danny Sriskandarajah, CEO, Oxfam GB

Charity Commission Report

In June 2019 the charities regulator for England and Wales, the Charity Commission, published a report which criticised Oxfam GB's handling of safeguarding failings in Haiti following the earthquake there in 2011.

What happened in Haiti was appalling and we are deeply sorry to all those who were affected. In accepting the Commission’s findings, Oxfam committed to a long-term programme of safeguarding improvements.

How we are changing

We have tripled our investment in safeguarding, creating a new Director of Safeguarding position and introducing mandatory training for 10,000 Oxfam employees worldwide. We now have safeguarding ‘focal points’ in every country where Oxfam is present, to work with communities and our staff.

We are also seeking to change the culture in which we work, to help prevent abuses of power and to support those who speak out. This has included initiatives to increase awareness amongst our staff of how to challenge negative behaviours and misconduct, including concerns of harassment and bullying.

We recognise that there is so much more that we need to do, and we are committed to continually learning in order to make Oxfam a safer place for all.

Our Action Plan

To define and measure our progress, we agreed with the Charity Commission a 100 point Action Plan for safeguarding improvements.

In February 2021 the Commission concluded that Oxfam had made significant progress against the plan, based on a rigorous independent assessment. Specifically, it pointed to improvements in our support for survivors, case management, recruitment policies and resourcing of safeguarding.

The Commission also noted the efforts to transform Oxfam’s working culture. It said: “this cultural shift has led to a more robust approach in dealing with subjects of complaint/concern and a more survivor centred approach when addressing safeguarding concerns and allegations.”

You can read the Charity Commission’s final report here including the independent review of our progress against the Action Plan and our ongoing commitments on safeguarding.

A continuing journey

While the Commission’s positive conclusion brought to an end a period of formal oversight by our regulator, we know that there is much more to do.

So we won’t stop here. We are dedicated to deeper, lasting changes to our structure and culture to make our organisation safe and secure for everyone.

All forms of sexual misconduct are abhorrent and an affront to everything we stand for. We have worked hard to learn from the mistakes of the past and ensure that our vital and often lifesaving work takes place in as safe an environment as possible, in a way that is consistent with our values. I am acutely aware of our responsibility to those who generously fund and support our work and to the communities we work with around the world, as well as to our staff and volunteers. I am grateful for the trust they have placed in us as we have embarked on this important journey to become a safe organisation.”

Danny Sriskandarajah, CEO, Oxfam GB

Further information

All forms of sexual misconduct are abhorrent and an affront to everything we stand for.”

Danny Sriskandarajah, CEO, Oxfam GB