Back in 2010, Haiti was struck by a deadly 7.0 magnitude earthquake with its epicenter in Léogâne, 25 kilometers west of Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince. Oxfam GB, a committee working for famine relief has been providing aid services to Haitians since then. However, what remained out of sight all this while was the use of prostitution by the relief officials working in the area.
Haiti is one of the 39 countries where practicing prostitution is illegal, whether by will or by the means of trafficking. Nevertheless, it is still practiced by many Dominican women and young girls who charge premium for lighter skin.
From the time the matter of Oxfam staff sexually exploiting Haitians after the catastrophic 2010 earthquake surfaced, the British charity has been suspended from operating for two months. During the same time International aid agencies like the Caris Foundation and Save the Children had tried traditional methods to help Haitian sex workers through health clinics and HIV/AIDS-testing programs. Nevertheless, the Oxfam team preyed on them instead of extending a helping hand to the sexually exploited women in Haiti.
Unfortunately, a majority of those preying on the Haitian women were senior aid officials working for the British charity, including Roland Van Hauwermeiren, the country director.
Haitian President, Jovenel Moise, also condemned the actions of the Oxfam GB relief workers and wrote on his Twitter about it as an “extremely serious violation of human dignity”.