The Oxfam scandal shows colonialism is alive and well

Privileged white men giving devastated, impoverished women of colour money for sex is vile exploitation.

Oxfam, a highly reputable charity operating in over 90 different countries became an institute marred by appalling sexual allegations, all in a space of a week. Celebrities have disowned their allegiance to them and Oxfam officials have been summoned to Whitehall to explain the actions of their officials.

Oxfam have been accused of ‘sex for aid’ in disaster areas like Haiti which their senior management covered up. Further fresh allegations have since emerged of sexual misconduct after former employees based in Chad claimed staff held sex parties attended by prostitutes back in 2006.

Oxfam’s country director in Haiti, Roland van Hauwermeiren, admitted using prostituted females at premises paid for with charitable funds. Children may well have been among those abused by van Hauwermeiren and other aid workers. This happened after the earthquake in 2010, which killed 220,000 people, injured 300,000 and left 1.5 million homeless.

Women believed to be sex workers were reportedly invited to the Oxfam team house on a number of occasions. A senior member of staff in Chad was reportedly fired for his behaviour, it is claimed.

The Charity Commission has revealed that over 1,000 allegations a year of abuse have been reported in the sector.

Britain’s aid minister has now said the government will cut aid funding from any charity that did not comply with a new review into their work overseas, calling reports of sexual exploitation in the sector “utterly despicable”.

There is nothing new about Western institutions and charities entering so called third world countries and committing crimes as if it is a colonial army.

These institutions acting as saviours literally rampage their way through to the ‘third world’ and follow a neo-colonialist model, setting up offices, earning large salaries and acting, as one anonymous informant from the Oxfam scandal said, “like small gods”. They may follow a humanitarian imperative, but too often, not a moral one which guarantees the dignity of the vulnerable and respect for them and their culture.

The United Nations is just a bad

UN staff have carried out thousands of rapes around the world, a former senior official has claimed.

Andrew MacLeod, who was chief of operations at the UN’s Emergency Coordination Centre, said that “predatory” abusers used development jobs to get to vulnerable women and children.

He estimated that 60,000 rapes had been carried out by UN staff in the past decade, with 3,300 paedophiles working in the organisation and its agencies. “There are tens of thousands of aid workers around the world with paedophile tendencies, but if you wear a Unicef T-shirt nobody will ask what you’re up to,” he told The Sun. “You have the impunity to do whatever you want. It is endemic across the aid industry across the world.”

It is no secret that there have been repeated, large-scale sexual exploitation scandals involving UN peacekeeping forces in Congo, Central African Republic and Liberia since the mid 2000s, often cited as the “sex-for-food affair”.

In Kosovo, underage girls and boys were kidnapped and tortured for the entertainment of UN workers. In 2014, French troops in the Central African Republic set up a rape-for-food initiative. Last year an Associated Press investigation discovered that 100 Sri Lankan UN peacekeepers had run a child-sex ring in Haiti for a decade.

Imperial tendencies have been the quality of the international aid scene for decades which has been veiled with a moral and charitable disguise. Underneath this apparently noble quest, there lies a underworld of exploitation of the most vulnerable people in the world.

Far from ‘non governmental’ charities, like Oxfam, receiving millions from the British government, these charities are very much in direct cooperation with governments that direct their activity and agendas.

There has been no difference in the way Western armies invade the poorest nations of the world and how charities funded by first world governments use their power to impose their will over the vulnerable. Covering up the tracks of officials is the same as Western governments who have tried to cover their tracks when they have committed ‘crimes against humanity’ in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and across the world.

The sex trade is built on colonialism and racism. Whether it is the over representation of African American girls and women in prostitution in the US, or the targeting of indigenous and native women and girls in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, it is clear that rich, powerful, white men consider it their “right” to use such women and girls as commodities. Take this to the global arena and what the world receives, not aid, but vile men practicing their perversions on the poorest people in the world. This is absolutely no different to what depraved men do in their own nations like Britain and America.

Therefore the question needs to be asked, is the problem charity regulations or is the problem the mindset which charities sponsored by Western governments dispatch their aid workers with? The latter seems to make more sense.

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