Haiti suspends Oxfam GB as it probes charity's handling of sexual misconduct claims

Oxfam GB's operations in Haiti will be temporarily suspended Credit: PA

Oxfam Great Britain is facing a two month suspension of its operations in Haiti pending an investigation into sexual misconduct by its employees.

The aid organisation has been embroiled in a scandal after it emerged that some of its staff had used prostitutes while working in the country in the aftermath of the devastating January 2010 earthquake.

Haiti is now investigating how Oxfam GB responded to those reports, Haiti's minister of planning and external co-operation, Aviol Fleurant, said.

It is also trying to determine whether some of the prostitutes may have been underage.

Authorities consider it a "serious crime" for an adult to have sex with anyone under 18, Mr Fleurant said.

Oxfam executives Ticehurst (right) and Massot (left) met Haitian government officials Credit: AP

Following a meeting between Haitian government officials and Oxfam international's regional director Simon Ticehurst and fellow Oxfam executive Margalida Massot, a spokeswoman for the charity confirmed the suspension.

"The government of Haiti announced today that it will suspend Oxfam Great Britain's operation in the country for two months, while it investigates how Oxfam GB handled the case of former staff having paid for sex during the agency's humanitarian response in 2011," she said.

The organisation has admitted that some of its employees used sex workers.

British government officials and the UK charity regulator have said that Oxfam did not tell them the allegations included sexual misconduct until the Times newspaper revealed details of the case earlier this month.

Since then, thousands of people have cancelled donations to the group in anger.