Translating into Chinese of the following article


Oxfam failed horribly on abuse. But I pledge to deliver radical change


This week Oxfam has been the subject of two incredibly difficult and important reports that identify serious failings in how we acted in the past: failings that were unacceptable and showed how far below our values we could fall. Yet these reports also include lessons that provide the path we must follow as we set out on a journey of what I hope will be transformative change.

The Charity Commission’s report has left no doubt that what happened in Haiti in 2011 was shameful. The report by an independent commission into Oxfam’s global safeguarding practices and working culture again makes for sobering reading. It criticises our culture, with examples of sexism, racism and colonial behaviour. It also identifies major challenges, notably abuse in refugee camps where we and other organisations work.

For these failings, we are deeply sorry and I personally apologise to everyone who has suffered.
These two reports represent a crossroads for Oxfam, for the humanitarian sector and for the communities we serve. We work in some of the world’s highest-risk contexts, from conflict zones to places where people are struggling to survive environmental disasters. These can be places where the rule of law has broken down, and where violence and sexual violence may have become institutionalised. Those providing support, whether local people or those who arrive as part of the aid effort, can find themselves in positions of extraordinary trust and power. Our shame is that we did not do enough to prevent that power from being abused.
It is now beyond dispute that there has been long-term underinvestment in safeguarding in emergency situations. The safety of those we serve must be central to all our work. Funds for safeguarding are just as essential as funding for emergency food, shelters, medical supplies or hygiene kits.

Oxfam accepts the findings and recommendations of both commissions in full and we are working with them to ensure we deliver our commitments swiftly.

Since February 2018, Oxfam GB has intensified efforts to support people safely: for example tripling our safeguarding investment; requiring all staff to complete an online safeguarding course; and strengthening our disciplinary procedures so that investigations continue if those accused resign, and any misconduct is clearly flagged in references. When I became chief executive of Oxfam GB in January, one of my first acts was to appoint our first ever director of safeguarding.
Yet these actions, while crucial, are just the beginning. They must be allied to radical changes that are meaningful on a daily basis. At its heart, this is about power. It’s about redefining the relationships we have with each other, with the partners we work with and, most importantly, with the communities we serve.

Oxfam’s work has a positive impact on the lives of millions of the world’s most vulnerable people every year. But we need to be humble and recognise that how we work is going to be just as important as what we do.
We cannot allow our institutional culture to reflect the inequalities and abuses of power that, as an organisation, we spend so much time and effort trying to eradicate. Our determination to save the lives of those hit by earthquakes, famine or war cannot excuse damaging the lives of others. As an organisation that campaigns for the rights of women, we must always hold ourselves to the standards we expect of others.

We cannot promise to eliminate abuse – no organisation can – but I do pledge that Oxfam will do all it can to minimise risk and to tackle it whenever it occurs. We are on a journey and it will take time, but we know that good intentions and half-measures will be inadequate. I wouldn’t have joined Oxfam if I wasn’t convinced that it was committed to learning from past mistakes. Since I arrived I have been struck by the determination of staff to put this right.