In August 2018 Ethical Consumer viewed Oxfam's Ethical and Environmental Policy, dated July 2018.
It stated, "Oxfam GB takes responsibility for and is committed to managing the labour and environmental standards in its operations and supply chains."

Supply chain policy (good)
Ethical Consumer considered Oxfam to have a good supply chain policy due to the fact it had adequate clauses on all six of the International Labour Organisation's conventions: working hours, living wages, child labour, forced labour, freedom of association and employment free from discrimination.

Stakeholder engagement (rudimentary)
Oxfam was a member of the multi-stakeholder initiative, the Ethical Trade Initiative. In response to a questionnaire sent to Oxfam it stated "Almost all food products are Fairtrade or WFTO certified (small exception made for some food lines made using waste food products) In addition to this preference is given to leading Fairtrade suppliers whose business models give more power to workers 80% of our food sales come from these suppliers (Traidcraft, Divine, Café Direct, Tropical Wholefoods, Zaytoun)."
Due to the work Oxfam did supporting third party certification schemes in particular Fairtrade it was considered to have a reasonable approach to stakeholder engagement.

Auditing and reporting (poor)
Oxfam stated, "Oxfam GB will establish key prioritised risk based performance indicators and put in place monitoring systems to measure performance against the implementation requirements of this policy." However no details were given regarding its auditing schedule or details of audit results. As a result it was considered to have a poor approach to auditing and reporting.

Difficult issues (good)
Oxfam had worked with many of its suppliers for a long time - helping them to build sucessful businesses and reinvesting 100% of the profits back to people enabling them to overcome poverty. It stated "Oxfam shops pioneered the idea of fair trade back in the 1960s. Paying people a fair and decent price for the goods they produce, and giving workers a say in the future of their company."
Ethical Consumer considered Oxfam to have a good apporach to difficult issues within supply chains.


Questionnaire (29 August 2018)

In February 2018 it was reported that Oxfam staff had paid for sex whilst working in Haiti.

The BBC News reported a summary of the story at Oxfam as it unfolded:

February 9th: The Times newspaper published a front page article under the headline: "Top Oxfam staff paid Haiti survivor for sex" which alleges that Oxfam covered up claims that senior staff working in Haiti in the wake of the 2010 earthquake used prostitutes, some of whom may have been underage. Among the male staff accused of sexual misconduct was Oxfam's then-director of operations in Haiti, Roland Van Hauwermeiren. He is alleged to have used prostitutes at a villa rented for him by the charity. In a statement, Oxfam denies claims of a cover-up. It says the behaviour of its staff was "totally unacceptable".

February 10th: The Charity Commission said it was not given full details about the use of prostitutes by aid workers. It says it would have acted differently if it had known all the facts. In a fresh story, the Times says Oxfam did not warn other aid agencies about problem staff caught using prostitutes. It emerges that Mr Van Hauwermeiren went on to work elsewhere in the aid sector. Oxfam's chief executive, Mark Goldring, said the charity did "anything but" cover up the incident. But he admits the 2011 report released by the charity did not give details of the revelations, and only referred to them as "serious misconduct".

February 11th: Oxfam was hit with further allegations that staff on its mission to Chad, also led by Mr Van Hauwermeiren, used prostitutes in 2006. Meanwhile, Oxfam announced new measures for the prevention and handling of sexual abuse cases. Oxfam's chair of trustees, Caroline Thomson, said staff members had been coming forward with "concerns about how staff were recruited and vetted" following the recent media reports.

February 16th: Oxfam announced it was setting up an independent commission of leading women's rights experts to carry out a review of working culture and practices. It would also create a global database of referees to stop dishonest or unreliable references and triple its safeguarding budget.
The charity's international executive director Winnie Byanyima promised the charity would "do justice" and "atone for the past".

Oxfam lost half a mark under Ethical Consumer's human rights category.


Oxfam Haiti allegations: How the scandal unfolded (February 2018)