After a report from the United Kingdom’s Mail on Sunday alleged sexual abuse by employees of World Vision following Haiti’s 2010 earthquake, the Federal Way-based nonprofit released a statement claiming misrepresentation.
Mail on Sunday accused paid World Vision employees of forcing Haitians to perform sexual acts or pay for aid after the catastrophic quake. World Vision, however, released a rebuttal over the weekend denying the allegations.
“While we know we did not get everything right, the Mail on Sunday story in the UK and Ireland misrepresents our actions and omits key findings from our investigations, which we described publically, and which were shared with authorities, donors, and the Mail’s journalist, several years ago,” said the World Vision statement.
“In our cash-for-work program in 2010-11, several evaluations conducted by World Vision and our partners highlighted a number of issues in government-run camps; of nepotism, sexual exploitation and inaccurate record-keeping.
“World Vision’s extensive investigations into these issues revealed that those involved in sexual exploitation were not World Vision staff. They were community volunteers and cash-for-work beneficiaries themselves.
“Our commitment to strengthening and improving systems saw us report these issues back to authorities, and work with them to put training and follow-up procedures in place to cut down on these practices. This information has been publicly available in our published Accountability Reports from 2011, 2012 and 2014. We provided these reports and internal documents to the Mail on Sunday journalist, Ian Birrell as long ago as 2014.”
The statement went on to say that World Vision recognizes the possibility of inappropriate behavior by its workers, offering a link to its whistleblower hotline.