The Oxfam scandal must be a “wake up call” for the aid sector, the United Kingdom’s aid chief Penny Mordaunt has said, calling on the community to work together to protect beneficiaries and staff from sexual exploitation and ensure the “morally repugnant” actions of a small group of aid workers do not “tarnish” the sector.

The sexual exploitation of vulnerable children is never acceptable, but when it is perpetrated by people in positions of power … [It] should compel us to take action

Mordaunt’s comments are part of a strong response by the U.K. Department for International Development to newspaper reports of sexual exploitation among a small group of Oxfam staff in Haiti in 2011. It is alleged that the men — four of whom were sacked, and three more who were allowed to resign, according to The Times newspaper — engaged in sexual exploitation and bullying, including paying vulnerable women for sex in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake. An internal report at the time said: “It cannot be ruled out that any of the prostitutes were under-aged.”

DFID has been swift to condemn the charity and set out a list of demands it says it will implement in order to crack down on sexual abuse and exploitation within the aid sector.

Read the full article on the Oxfam scandal by Sophie Edwards at Devex International Development