British Catholic aid charity CAFOD has sacked an employee who is accused of sexual misconduct while delivering aid to Haiti after the 2011 earthquake.
The employee, who had been working for Oxfam at the time of the alleged incident, joined CAFOD in 2014. The charity it received a reference from his most recent employer when he joined, but remained unaware of any allegations against him until contacted by The Times.
“When we were made aware, we immediately put the staff member on leave to investigate in line with our Code of Behaviour protocol,” CAFOD said.
“We can confirm that the individual has been dismissed today. Our review found that there have been no formal complaints of misconduct about the employee during his time at CAFOD. We requested and yesterday received a reference from Oxfam GB Headquarters which confirmed the allegations against him. His failure to disclose the circumstances of his departure from Oxfam are in breach of CAFOD’s Code of Behaviour.”
The charity said it also reviewed two historical cases of sexual misconduct allegations against its staff. It said the first investigation yielded no evidence to require disciplinary action, while the other resulted in the staff member being dismissed.
“Now more than ever, CAFOD is committed to a zero-tolerance approach to misconduct breaching our Code of Behaviour, including fraud, abuse, sexual misconduct, intimidation and other acts,” the charity said. “We have robust safeguarding and whistle-blowing policies and practices in place, which are regularly reviewed, to ensure that vulnerable people are protected.”
“Our mission to support people to live life to the fullest gives us a moral duty to their care – we will not let them down.”