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Sexual Abuse

MSF reveals sex abuse cases as Oxfam scandal widens

Members of Médecins sans frontières (MSF, Doctors without borders)
Members of Médecins sans frontières (MSF, Doctors without borders) Issouf Sanogo/AFP

French NGO Médecins sans frontières (Doctors Without Borders) revealed it had fired 19 staff last year for sexual harassment or abuse. A scandal over sexual abuse in the foreign aid industry began with this week with Oxfam revelations.

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The Paris-based group Médecins sans frontières (MSF) said it had received 146 complaints or alerts last year, of which 40 were found to be allegations of harassment or sexual assault.

It said in a statement that it had acted on 24 of these cases, firing 19 employees as a result.

With 40,000 staff around the world, MSF is one of the world's largest aid groups, best known for its work offering medical aid in conflict zones.

"Even though reports of abuse have steadily increased, MSF is aware that abuse goes under-reported," the charity said.

The revelations came as Oxfam grapples with allegations that it was not transparent about a scandal involving some of its staff for using prostitutes in Haiti following a devastating 2010 earthquake.

The scandal has led to the resignation of Oxfam's deputy head and has thrown into question British government funding for the charity, which amounted to around 36 million euros last year.

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