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Thursday, 12 July 2018

MPs told of shocking accounts of aid workers abusing children overseas

Written by Sam Lister

Shocking accounts of aid workers abusing children have been set out to MPs investigating exploitation in the charity sector.

Young boys and girls revealed a decade ago that they were being abused and their families told how they were powerless to act, the International Development Committee heard.

Corinna Csaky set out evidence from an investigation she carried out in 2008 into the abuse of children by humanitarian staff and peacekeepers.

They included a young boy in Haiti who said a homeless girl was taken to a man who worked for an aid organisation.

"He gave her one American dollar and the little girl was happy to see the money," the boy said.

"It was two in the morning. The man took her and raped her. In the morning the little girl could not walk."

A 14-year-old boy in Cote D'Ivoire said workers at a peacekeeping camp would sometimes ask for girls his age.

"Often it will be between eight and 10 men who will share two or three girls. They also use their mobile phones to film the girls."

Children and parents said they were unable to report the abuse.

"The people who are raping us and the people in the office are the same people," according to a young girl in Haiti.

A father in Cote d'Ivoire said: "They don't even hide what they are doing."

The testimonies were part of a report, No One To Turn To, by Ms Csaky for Save the Children.

MPs launched an investigation into abuse in the aid sector after Oxfam was plunged into crisis in February when it emerged that some of its workers in Haiti engaged in "sex parties" with prostitutes in the aftermath of the devastating 2010 earthquake.

Since then, some 1,100 complaints over safeguarding in aid agencies have been made, according to the Charity Commission.

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2018, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Steve Parsons / PA Wire.