Waterstones still 'committed' to Oxfam following sex scandal

Waterstones still 'committed' to Oxfam following sex scandal

Waterstones has said it remains a committed partner of Oxfam "at this point" following accusations of sexual misconduct concerning some members of the charity's Haiti staff in the aftermath of the country's earthquake in 2011.

The charity has been accused of concealing the findings of an inquiry into claims staff used prostitutes while delivering aid in Haiti in 2011. Its "moral leadership" has been called into question after it failed to alert authorities or warn other aid agencies of the conduct, with the accused staff going on to take other jobs in disaster zones.

Waterstones managing director James Daunt has condemned the sex scandal as "reprehensible and beyond comprehension" in an article in the Times. "It sounds as though what went on in Haiti betrays the fundamental values of Oxfam. The part we have worked with I have been impressed by, though that is not to excuse the utterly abhorrent behaviour in Haiti. I expect Oxfam to give a full and frank explanation, and if there is something to apologise for, to apologise."

However, the chain told The Bookseller "at this point remain committed supporters to the charity".

"We have a great admiration for Oxfam and the work that they do. We listen to, and seek to understand, the assurances given by the Oxfam leadership and at this point remain committed supporters to the charity," a Waterstones spokesperson said.

The chain has raised over millions of pounds for Oxfam's Syria Crisis Appeal through its Buy Books for Syria campaign, among others.

Oxfam has since announced new measures for handling sexual conduct cases.