A WORKER with a global landmine charity has been jailed for attempted rape following the Oxfam sex abuse scandal.
The employee from Dumfries-based Halo Trust is believed to be the first person jailed following the aid charity exploitation scandal earlier this year.
The global charity – based in Dumfries and previously supported by Lady Diana, Angelina Jolie and Ruth Davidson – said the worker had been dismissed before his conviction in March in Myanmar, formerly Burma.
The aid organisation, which has 8,500 staff clearing landmines and other weapons from more than 20 countries, also revealed a fresh allegation of sexual misconduct involving a staff member in Cambodia has emerged since the scandal broke.
The organisation said it had informed authorities about the new sexual allegations. A spokeswoman said: “A Burmese staff member was suspended from duties in Myanmar in January 2018 following an allegation of sexual assault when off duty.
“The case was reported to the British Embassy, the Department for International Development, Charity Commissioner and OSCR. The Halo Trust offered full cooperation with the police investigation.
“A Burmese court later found him guilty of attempted rape and he was sentenced in March.
“Once again we informed DFID, the British Embassy and the Charity Commission immediately.
“In August we received an allegation of sexual harassment made against a Cambodian male employee made by a female Cambodian colleague.
“Following an investigation he was dismissed. A report has been made to the Charity Commission.”
Earlier this month, the Halo Trust published its latest accounts that detailed how it had received an increase of £2.1m in UK government funding to nearly £17m.
Four years ago, the charity’s founder and chief executive Guy Willoughy, who earned more than £200,000, resigned after being suspended when it emerged the charity was also paying the school fees of three of his children. The Scottish charity regulator, OSCR, said: “We can confirm that the Halo Trust has reported to us concerning the issues you refer to, using our notifiable events system in line with our expectations of charities in circumstances like this.”
We can reveal the two cases involving the Halo Trust are among an increasing number of “notifiable events” aid organisations are currently reporting to the OSCR.
Notifiable events are serious issues flagged up by the charities themselves. The OSCR’s guidance says it wants to know about serious incidents that “threaten to have a significant impact on the charity or its assets”.
Notifiable events could involve allegations of financial impropriety or criminal acts, for example.
In the financial year 2016/17, the OSCR recorded 109 notifiable events.
The following year it was 111.
But in the first six months of this year, the figure has already hit 108.
The OSCR said it cannot confirm how many were allegations specifically about sexual misconduct.
But campaigners said the expected rise may be down to increased awareness from the charities over their responsibilities following the Oxfam scandal.
Oxfam was widely criticised amid claims they had covered up senior staff hiring sex workers in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.
Eileen Maitland, of Rape Crisis Scotland, said more people may now come forward because they felt confident their claims would be taken seriously.
She added: “Sexual offences can have a devastating impact and there is no room for complacency.”
As the Halo Trust works across the UK, it is regulated by the Charity Commission which has now opened an investigation following the attempted rape case.
The Charity Commission said: “We can confirm that The Halo Trust is currently subject to an ongoing regulatory compliance case.
“Among other things, the case is looking into concerns around safeguarding.”
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