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tv   Democracy Now  PBS  February 21, 2018 12:00pm-1:01pm PST

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02/21/18 02/21/18 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! iss verty and helplessness intolerable and our organization. [indiscernible] what is wrong? amy: oxfam is facing a growing crisis for covering up sex crimes by its aid workers in haiti after the devastating 2010
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earthquake. we will speak to a reporter at "the times of london" who exposed the scandal plus the head of the coalition against trafficking in women and the haitian writer edwidge danticat in miami. then we look at the role of army junior reserve officer training corps program after nikolas cruz, a former jrotc cadet, carried out one of the deadliest school shootings in u.s. history. cruz was on the school's jrotc team when it received a $10,000 grant from the nra. all of that a more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the syrian government is continuing its deadly barrage of airstrikes and artillery fire against the rebel-held enclave of eastern ghouta, outside the capital damascus, with aid
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workers reporting at least 2 people have beenilled over the last 48 hours. many of the victims are women and children. on tuesday, the charity unicef released a nearly blank statement on the killings, writing "no words will do justice to the children killed, their mothers, their fathers and their loved ones," followed by quote marks and 10 blank lines. state department spokesperson heather nauert called tuesday for an immediate ceasefire. on all parties to come in to the unconditional de-escalation of violence. russia must end its support of assad regime and its allies. they're responsible for the dire humanitarian situation and used ghou and the her rent ista death toll. to allow for the unfettered delivery of humanitarian supplies and the urgent medical evacuation of civilians east
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guida. the cessation of violence must begin now in those dating emergency assistance should be allowed to evacuate immediately. amy: in florida, 100 students who survived the deadly shooting at the marjory stoneman douglas high school have arrived at the capital, tallahassee, to demand action from lawmakers on gun control. this is alfonso calderon, one of the students. >> my friends and the families that are never going to have their kids come back to them again. that motivates me every single day and it will never be a deterrent for any reason. nothing could bring me down being reminded every single day of the horrific things i saw and hopefully, no one has to ever see again. amy: their arrival came as the florida legislature voted down a measure to open debate on banning large-capacity magazines and semi-automatic rifles, such as the ar-15, what was used by the shooter, a white former student named nickolas cruz. the student activists are
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planning to march to the florida legislature this morning. meanwhile, president trump has come out calling for a ban on so-called "bump stocks," which allow semi-automatic rifles to act like machine guns, capable of firing hundreds of rounds per minute. pres. trump: just a few moments ago, i signed a memorandum directing the attorney general to propose regulations to ban all devices that turn legal weapons into machine guns. i expect that these critical regulations will be finalized very soon. the key and all of these efforts, as i said in my remarks the day after the shooting, is that we cannot merely take actions that make us feel like we are making a difference. we must actually make a difference. amy: the national rifle association heavily lobbied for a rule change on the sale of
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bump stocks rather than a congressional ban following the las vegas massacre. rule changes are significantly easier to reverse and avoid congress taking up regulations on the sale of bump stocks and other gun control measures. president trump is also hosting a listening session at the white house today with high school students and teachers who have survived mass shootings around the country. meanwhile, florida, while the legislature voted down debate on gun control, it did approve a resolution to clearing pornography a health risk am a particularly for teenagers. president trump has again attacked one of the 19 women who have accused him of sexual harassment and assault after her story was published in a front-page "washington post" article headlined "is anyone listening?" rachel crooks accuses trump of forcibly kissing her, without her consent, on the lips while she worked as a receptionist in trump tower in 2005. on tuesday, president trump called her a liar, tweeted -- "a woman i don't know and, to the best of my knowledge, never met, is on the front page of the
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fake news washington post saying i kissed her for two minutes yet in the lobby of trump tower 12 years ago. never happened! who would do this in a public space with live security" in response, rachel crooks called on trump to release the security camera footage. this is rachel crooks recounting the incident at a news conference here in new york in december. years ago as he young receptionist in trump tower, i was forcibly kissed by mr. trump during her first introduction. you repeatedly kissed my cheeks and ultimately my lips in an encounter that has impacted my life will be on the initial occurrence in feelings of self-doubt and insignificance i had. that some men think they can use their power, position, or notoriety to demean and attack women asked of their character, not ours. which believe me, is a tough lesson learned. amy: rachel crooks is now running for a seat in the ohio
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state legislature. to hear our discussion with more of the women who have accused president trump of sexual harassment, salt, or misconduct, go to in more news on sexual harassment and assault, a woman who has accused supreme court justice clarence thomas of sexual harassment is calling for his impeachment from the bench. journalist angela wright shannon says thomas repeatedly pressured her to date him and made comments about her breasts when they worked together at the equal employment opportunity commission in the mid-1980's. she's one of multiple women who have accused thomas of sexual harassment, including renowned law professor anita hill. the co-founder of the fashion brand guess, paul marciano, has stepped down after supermodel kate upton accused him of forcibly groping her breasts after a photo shoot in 2010. guess's stocks have dropped more than 20% since upton publicly accused marciano a few weeks ago.
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president trump's son-in-law and senior adviser jared kushner is reportedly facing off against white house chief of staff john kelly over kushner's interim security clearances. kushner is among dozens of white house officials who have been -- accessing classified information using limited interim security clearances, as the fbi has refused to grant them full security clearances due to issues in their background checks. among others denied full security clearance was former staff secretary rob porter, whose clearances were held up because of serious accusations of domestic abuse against both of his ex-wives. chief of staff john kelly came under massive fire after it was revealed the white house knew for months that domestic
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violence accusations were porter'sp order's -- security clearance. now kelly is issuing new guidelines that include revoking top clearances for all officials, including kushner, whose background checks are still pending. at the united nations, palestinian authority president mahmoud abbas has called for an international conference to restart the israeli-palestinian peace process. in his speech, abbas said the united states could no longer preside over the peace process, because it had "contradicted itself and its own commitments and has violated international law." last year, president trump sparked widespread international outrage after he announced the united states was recognizing the contested city of jerusalem as the capital of israel. the israeli government has begun indefinitely jailing african asylum seekers who refuse to
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leave israel amid israel's threats to jail or expel up to 40,000 africans fleeing war and persecution in eritrea and sudan. on tuesday, the israeli government indefinitely imprisoned seven eritreans after they refused to be deported to rwanda or eritrea. the move sparked protests, including at the ben gurion airport were five people were arrested and put into an israeli detention center, where hundreds of asylum-seekers launched a hunger strike. in bahrain, human rights activist nabeel rajab has been sentenced to five years in prison for tweeting about the u.s.-backed saudi-led bombing campaign's killing of civilians in yemen and alleged torture in bahrain's notorious jaw prison. amnesty international said -- "this sentence demonstrates the authorities' ruthless determination to crush all forms of dissent and leaves no room for doubt about the extreme lengths to which they are
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willing to go to in order to silence peaceful critics." rajab has been imprisoned multiple times in recent years for participating in pro-democracy protests and for criticizing the bahraini government. the united nations refugee agency is warning hundreds of thousands of people have been forced from their homes in the democratic republic of congo, amid an escalation in violence in the drc southeast region in recent months. survivors report killings and rape by armed militias. this is a human rights activist. ,> it is an economic war something we have in our cell phones and computer. and i think like all of the countries, you know in all of the western countries, they don't not want this war to end because they want -- they want a mess so they can continue to plunder congo.
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still using terror. if you look at the map and you see where rapes are committed, it is all around mines. amy: back in the united states, the state of minnesota has reached an $850 million settlement with the company 3m over allegations the company contaminated drinking water by dumping toxic chemicals called pfcs's in landfills for decades since the 1950's. the high profile case was expected to go to trial today. the minnesota state attorney general says the pfcs caused high rates of cancer and premature births after the contaminated the drinking water. and journalism's prestigious george polk awards have been announced. among the winners, jodi kantor and megan twohey of "the new york times" and ronan farrow of "the new yorker," who won for exposing hollywood mogul harvey weinstein's decades of rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment. another winner was the
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intercept's iona craig, who won for her expose of a deadly navy seal raid on a village in yemen. this is iona craig talking about the raid on democracy now! >> the rich when he six people in the village who were killed. many of those were women and children. that village has essentially been abandoned now because not only after that raid happened, not only was the entire village raised more than 120 livestock were killed, but the u.s. went back a month later at the beginning of march and bonded for four consecutive nights you both with drone strikes and helicopter gunfire, and killed two more children and several more adults. so the last person i spoke to who was living there, he then left the village and is now living under trees several miles away. amy: for the full interview, you can go to and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and
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peace report. i'm amy goodman. we begin today's show with the sexual abuse scandal engulfing the british charity oxfam. oxfam has been hit with dozens more misconduct allegations involving a slew of countries in the days since "the times of london" revealed oxfam tried to cover up sex crimes by senior aid workers in haiti after the devastating 2010 earthquake. on tuesday, oxfam's leadership was questioned by british lawmakers in the parliament and oxfam apologized for it -- its failure to report sexual misconduct to haitian authorities. prostitution is illegal in haiti, but oxfam refused to report the activity of its aid workers to haitian police. this is the british parliament's international development committee questioning oxfam's chief executive mark goldring. >> prostitution is illegal in haiti. shouldn't oxfam have reported the matter anyway?
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>> oxfam should have reported the matter to the haitian authorities. it was not oxfam to decide whether a crime had been committed or not, but something that was serious that undermined the rule of law and public confidence in haiti should have been reported to the relevant haitian authorities. apologize that oxfam did not do that. amy: on monday, oxfam released its own internal report into the sex scandal. it concluded senior aid workers at oxfam, including the country director in haiti hired , prostitutes at oxfam properties and then tried to cover it up. oxfam's internal report includes claims that three oxfam staff members physically threatened a witness during the charity's internal investigation. haiti has threatened to expel oxfam from the country. this is haiti's external cooperation minister, aviol fleurant. >> they admitted there is
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evidence that oxfam u.k. was informed these crimes occurred. what hurt me as they admitted that haitian a 30's had at no time been informed by oxfam haiti. and the roughly 7000 people have canceled a donation to oxfam since the scandal broke. this comes as another well-known shared it, save the children, is also facing a growing scandal. the charity has told british authorities it has dismissed 30 employees after 120 misconduct complaints. save the children has also apologized to female employees who complained about the former head of the organization and justin forsyth. for more, we're joined now by three guests. from london, sean o'neill is with us. the chief reporter at "the times" newspaper in london, which broke the story of oxfam and save the children scandals. in miami, florida, we are joined by edwidge danticat, haitian-american novelist. author of a number of books,
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including "the farming of bones," which won an american book award. danticat's new book is "the art of death: writing the final story." she just returned from haiti. and here we have taina bien aime, executive director of coalition against trafficking in women. we welcome you all to democracy now! let's go to london where this story was exposed by sean o'neill and the team at "the times of london." can you talk about the chronology of what you found out -- of what you found out and when he founded out? >> this story took quite a long time to piece together. i had been working on it for proximally 10 months -- a approximately 10 months. totook quite a long time pursue that person to give me
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more detail. in october last year, we ran a story about the treatment of oxfam's country director in nigeria, who was sexually assaulted while attending a conference in oxford in 2010. inwas her first time britain. she reported the sexual assault to her managers at oxfam. the assault was allegedly carried out by one of for senior managers. she was not told to go to the police. she was not told to make a formal complaint. she was asked were advised to try to settle it informally. three months later, she was sacked by the man she alleges had sexually assaulted her. and oxfamn that story admitted they had got things wrong, that kind of opened the door to all of -- other people to come to us with more information. one of the first things that came out was quite a lot of concern about what happened in when at the time
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oxfam had put out a statement , seven menn people had been either dismissed or allowed to resign for gross misconduct in bringing oxfam into disrepute. but they did not go into the detail of what happened. we managed to track down several people who knew exactly what had happened, have blown the whistle at the time. we are still extremely -- were still extremely angry about the way oxfam handled it but also nervous, angry or sorry, about speaking. it took a long time to persuade them to speak off the record to us. they verify each other, even of these people were not in touch with one another. some of them were able to supply documents, including the investigation report. sort of by the end of january, we were very confident we have a story in place.
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of to had a long period and fro with oxfam about what they wanted to say, how they wanted to respond. we gave them a long time to respond. -- the first week week of the story in three or four days later, they were still in denial. they were saying, we did not hide anything. we have been totally transparent in 2011. the unraveling of this over the past week and the unraveling of the reputation, their noble reputation, i think has been quite shocking. i think that is why it is still having ramifications today i'm almost a fortnight after we broke the story. amy: let me go to oxfam international executive director who said -- "hideous men had abused the trust of the public and were not representative of oxfam sprint doubles." -- oxfam's principles." >> let me say how sorry we are.
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i am ashamed. i have spent my life trying to stand up for women's rights and to fight for people living in poverty. this is painful for me. but this is about -- the values of oxfam. abuseddeous came in and the trust. .ut they were able to get away they were given the recommendation to leave. this was wrong. so we want to change the culture . we're going to put money on this. the use of prostitutes in conditions of poverty and helplessness and conflict is intolerable in our organization. what happened to let the country director galway with some
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dignity doesn't go away with some dignity is wrong. this is something that would not happen today in oxfam. amy: that is oxfam international executive director winnie byanyima testifying. goldring, apologized for implying intern national outrage of oxfam sex abuse scandal was overblown, saying it was not as if oxfam "murdered babies in their cots." he said this in an interview with the guardian. this is stephen twigg questioning goldring. >> in her interview with the guardian published on saturday, you appeared to be downplaying this scandal. using the parallel with the murder of babies in their cots, which many people regard as grossly inappropriate. can i give you the opportunity to apologize? >> certainly, chairman.
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i do apologize. i was thinking, under stress. i had been given many interviews, given many responses . i was thinking about amazing work i had seen oxfam to across the world, most recently for .efugees coming from myanmar i should not have said those things. it is not for oxfam to judge issues of proportionality or motivation. i repeat oxfam a broader apology and my personal apology. we are sorry for the damage oxfam has done both to the people of haiti, but also to wider efforts for eight and develop meant i possibly undermining public support. so i wholeheartedly apologize for those comments and commit to work in that greater public interest so oxfam can make a
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powerful role in the work we all believe in. amy: that is oxfam's chief executive mark goldring apologizing for his comments that it is not as if we were murdering babies in their cots. sean o'neill, if you can talk specifically about haiti and the haiti, and oxfam in what exactly he is accused of doing, what you wrote about in "the times of london." was the country director appointed shortly after the earthquake in 2010. of suspectedory misconduct. --was allowed to resign from which is now part of save the children in liberia in 2004. he joined oxfam in 2006 in chad.
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again, there were concerns about what oxfam calls in its report "gender issues" which is management speak, i guess, for misconduct against toward women. despite those issues, he was allowed to move on to the congo and then to haiti him and those investigated that he admitted to were that he was having sex with women, paying them for sex. i have seen the transcript of his interview with the oxfam investigation. he admits in their that he had, what he calls, prostitutes visit him on two or three occasions at his home, which was i believe aste a luxurious place known the eagles nest where he lived alone surrounded by security guards. he could live a very private and
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secure -- six included life. he also talks about young mothers coming to him, visiting him, and he is giving them baby milk, diapers, goods come in a basically essentials, that they are living on. and implies that he is doing that in return for sexual favors. has trackedlleagues down and interviewed one of the young women who slept with van hauwermeiren who said, yes, he did trade aid for sex with her and that she was very young at the time, 16 or 17, and that although she now looks back on it with some distaste, she felt at the time it was saving her life and saving her baby's life. conduct onoitative his part. several from that, there was a
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group of aid workers who were staying in an apartment block all-- a group of men, an male apartment block. allegations against them that they were bringing apostate prostitutes,g in supplied by a local pimp and those women were being subjected to some pretty degrading treatment. a number of those men, i believe, or found guilty of gross misconduct. a number resign will under investigation. a number were accused but kind of acquitted. but we're talking about an investigation and was essentially carried out by an oxfam anti-fraud team, not experienced investigators. a lot of those people were dismissed for lesser matters such as bullying witnesses or
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downloading pornography onto an oxfam computer. there were a range of offenses, but the common thread running through all of them was some pretty nasty sexual expectation of women -- explication of women. oxfam released an internal investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct that showed oxfam's country director in haiti, roland van hauwermeiren, admitted to using prostitutes in his residence during a humanitarian aid operation before his resignation in 2011. it is amazing what you just pointed out, that he was fired from another charity years picked himoxfam then up, not there what they knew. well, last week van hauwermeiren dismissed the allegations of sexual misconduct. >> i don't feel good about the people who are told by perhaps less professional journalists
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that oxfam is an instrument to have sex or geez using the money from good civilians. that is absolutely not true. amy: that is roland van hauwermeiren, sean o'neill? say, is entitled to his but i'm very confident in my sources, but the human sources i've spoken to that were there at the time you know exactly what went on in that investigation. and very confident of the documents we obtained, some of which are a transcript of his words. amy: we're going to come back to this discussion. we're talking to sean o'neill, chief reporter at "the times of london" on the series of pieces that is blowing open, this scandal around oxfam as oxfam tries to contain the damage. in addition, we will be joined by writer edwidge danticat and taina bien aime, the head of the coalition against trafficking in women. stay with us.
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♪ [music break]
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amy: debuting care on democracy now! is ais democracy now! continued look at how oxfam has been hit with dozens or conduct allegations involving a slew of countries in the days since the "times of london" reported oxfam in to cover up sex crimes haiti after the devastating 2010 earthquake. joining us from london is sean o'neill, chief reporter at "the times" newspaper in london, which broke the story of the story of oxfam and save the children. edwidgeso joined by danticat, haitian-american novelist and taina bien aime, executive director of coalition against trafficking in women. edwidge danticat, if you can storyd to this explosive that has come out that you may have known some details of were
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rumors of stories for years, i don't know. >> i wish i could say that it was shocking. i think there is a way these large organizations work in haiti in which they bypass the state completely or consider the state insignificant. it was even said by the folks at oxfam that they did report these violations because they thought the state was too consumed with the earthquake. else forre was nothing us to do. in the u.n., the staff has been accused of similar things. women have said they are literally grabbed off the street and raped them a boys and girls. amy: explain what you mean by -- >> the minister is the u.n.
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"peacekeeping force" that has been in haiti the last decade. they were also accused of running sex rings and raping young women who were then left with no options, like they would go and complain and they would remove the peacekeeper and send them back home. which seems to be a similar pattern with what happened with this gentleman. he was gently moved to another post, where he might have continued carrying on the same thing. i think that is what happens when you have extremely vulnerable populations, where these large ngos consider themselves in some ways to sustain on their own. the most vulnerable women and girls are considered prey to them and they will do with them what they want for a piece of food, which as mr. o'neill for traits oh clearly desperate trait so clearly. i would be surprised if they were the only one because you have impunity, total impunity.
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people are not punished. they apologize and they move on. they destroy -- they leave destroyed lives behind him. amy: we're talking about a time, 2010 in haiti, the earthquake, where hundreds of thousands of people died. we're talking about a crushed population. >> extremely -- you have extremely vulnerable children who in some cases have lost their parents. you have families separated. you have people really in dire need. and who are extremely vulnerable . times, it would be extremely wrong to take advantage of that situation. but at that moment where people are still trying to find their loved ones, bury their dead, find food and water -- to decide at that moment you want to traumatize an assault people and
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have orgies while people are dying, it is just unconscionable. the worst thing is that they will not be punished. there will be this outrage, this moment, but it will carry on. we hope this is a turning point, perhaps, for these other organizations that might still be doing this and that maybe as wes a #metoo moment are living in this country for aid workers to do this, thing, not just in haiti, but all over the vulnerable world where they're are supposed to go and help. amy: sean o'neill, can you explain what is at stake here? how oxfam gets its funding? i mean, i think around 7000 people have stopped their donations. but what about countries? >> i think oxfam gets something in the region of 300 million times a year from various
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governments, public authorities, so we're talking about the british government, the u.s. aid, the united nations funding, european union funding, and other governments. the public donates about 90 million pounds a year makes about 100 million pounds a year from his trading divisions. there is an oxfam chair to shop for every high street -- it is a massive organization with huge amount of revenue operating in dozens and dozens of countries around the world. its global reputation as absolutely on the line here. there is an awful lot at stake and that is why it is scrambling. i lost count yesterday watching the hearing of parliament, the number of times people from oxfam apologized. it was one apology after another after another after another. they completely changed their tone from a week before when they were saying, we did nothing wrong will step we dealt with these men and we were complete we transparent.
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they are under massive pressure here. especially from the british government. the international development minister penny morgan basically said to them yesterday, you have to beheld to account. you have to hold yourself to account. i want to see the results of how you changed or we will not give any more money. they are saying that not just to oxfam, but every single charity that the british government provides funding to. if you do not show safeguard policies and practices and to swan offongdoers, not to another job, if you don't take these steps, you will not get british government funding. emerged have reports proximity heard one of the aid workers who was fired for alleged social misconduct in haiti just months later -- thatat goes on in
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organization. sacked by british oxfam, and rehired by american oxfam. amy: and then sent off to ethiopia. so south african archbishop emeritus desmond tutu stepped down as an ambassador for oxfam. the 86-year-old nobel peace laureate said he was deeply disappointed by allegations of "immorality and possible criminality involving humanitarian workers linked to the charity." last week british actress minnie driver also quit her position as an ambassador for oxfam. writing on her twitter account -- "all i can tell you about this awful revelation about oxfam is that i am devastated. devastated for the women who were used by people sent there to help them, devastated by the response of an organization that i have been raising awareness for since i was 9 years old." i want to bring taina bien aime into the conversation, who is executive director of the organization coalition against trafficking in women.
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your response to these revelations and what you think should happen? >> i would like to echo the thoughts that we have known for decades. we have heard rumors. we're family and haiti who tell us that blue helmets exchange a glass of milk for raping a child. that international aid workers abuse their power systematically -- not all, but certainly a large percentage of the leadership. so this, unfortunately, is not new. this is something the united nations has been struggling with . the last three u.n. secretary generals have established statement and policies hoping that zero-tolerance culture will be embedded in not only among you and contractors and personnel, but international aid agencies and blue helmets, etc. interest in zero that rotation of women and girls , abuse of power in the most
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egregious and violent way. as we are seeing with the oxfam situation in haiti. amy: do you think they should be defunded? >> no. i think this is an incredible opportunity to have conversations with oxfam to ensure the policies they do have ofplace for zero-tolerance purchasing sex, for zero-tolerance of exploitation, that they are implemented. we need to see more women in middle management and upper management, and also this is an opportunity for oxfam to invest in the women and girls that they have exploited and brutalized. i think it is fantastic that oxfam managers are apologizing to the haitian government, but they are not the ones who are owed an apology. they owe an apology to the women and girls and boys, i'm assuming as well, who have been exploited and trafficked prostituted.
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there is an opportunity to have exit programs and programs for these people so they do have the ability to rebuild their lives and move toward economic self-sufficiency. amy: i want to go to the statement of oxfam's executive director. we did invite her on the show. oxfam international executive director winnie byanyima said -- "from the bottom of my heart, i'm asking for forgiveness. of course words are not enough. i've agreed a plan of action with oxfam's board of international directors, which will see us double the number of people who work on safeguarding the people we serve. we're also asking respected women's rights experts to lead an independent commission which will take a long, hard look at our operations and tell us what we need to change about our culture and practices. and we're setting up a new database of people authorized to give references.
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right now i have two utmost priorities for oxfam -- continuing to provide support to the millions of vulnerable people we work with around the world, and learning vital lessons from our past mistakes to make sure such abuse and exploitation does not happen again." taina bien aime, your response? >> we look forward to these kinds of measures. moment.a #metoo why has this been hidden for years from the public? we don't know the answer to that. perhaps sean o'neill has an idea, since he is the one who spoke closely to the courses as do whether it is the environment of holding, mostly men, accountable to the exportation and violence that they perpetuated against women and girls from sexual harassment to rate. i would welcome a conversation with oxfam to help them develop
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gender sensitive policies and ensuring that this doesn't happen again. amy: edwidge danticat, i mean, you have haiti, ground zero for overdevastation with 300,000 people that died in the earthquake alone. you had organizations like the red cross that raised almost half $1 billion for haiti, ended building six permanent homes? you have the u.n. forces, you're talking about sexual abuse, the issue of cholera, bringing cholera even if obvious the not intentionally, to haiti that killed how many people? how do you hold these international organizations accountable? >> i think in some ways, these sexual assaults that we hear about, whether through this scandal and through what the
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united nations forces have done in haiti am a they are honest a metaphor for the rape of haiti, which continues through these organizations. i think the red cross, on another scale, is a manifestation of that. that all of this money was raised on behalf of haiti after this moment. that is another kind of violation. -- i am glad there have been so many that oxfam, for example, has gone from denial as mr. o'neil reported, in thisacceptance stream of apologies, but we also need action. the impunity has to stop. the fact that these organizations feel like they can come to haiti and do everything they want, anything they want to anybody they want, to the most vulnerable of the population, that needs to stop. that won't stop until people are held accountable for what they do. i think the u.n. was a terrible model in terms of their actions.
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there is an apology from them as well, but they did not follow up in ways that were concrete about all of the people like millions of people affected by the cholera. 10,000 people died. an apology is not going to do anything for those people. so the apologies are fine, but i think the impunity has to stop. the fact these people feel like they can go to haiti because it is haiti and do whatever they want, that needs to stop. amy: al jazeera reports the former u.n. secretary-general confirmed there's been a total of 145 cases of sexual assault and abuse across all u.n. peace missions in 2016, up from 99 reported cases in 2015. the countries with the highest number of reported allegations include haiti, central african republic, democratic republic of congo, south sudan. legal battles against the u.n. mission from within haiti and globally face a legal catch.
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peacekeepers are given immunity to any criminal liability in the countries they serve. edwidge danticat? >> that is at the core of the problem. because you have people who are already extremely poor, vulnerable within the society they are, and i guess there is sort of a predatory oh attitude towards the because people know that nothing will happen to them. even this gentleman, he was moved to another post to continue his work. but what about the people whose lives he affected? they did not even mention it to the state. nobody in haiti new. i am happy does he the government has come out very forcefully about that and maybe, hopefully, that will lead to some of the actions that one of the heads of oxfam mentioned that -- but i hope it will also lead to these other organizations really having a deeper look within their
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structures and how they work, and -- so that the most vulnerable people can be protected. they often have no recourse. i have a sense that even in the report by mr. o'neil, it is a small group of people that were able to speak out. there are people too fearful to speak out. and there never -- their stories will never be heard. you also have to think about these people and future encounters that the vulnerable population, the women and girls, will have with others who come and theter the oxfams others. amy: taina bien aime, you look at these issues across the world. you deal with the exploitation of sex trafficking in women and girls, so you see these countries, the most vulnerable countries. what are you demanding right now? >> i think like everyone else, we're calling for an end to impunity, but also a deep look of acceptancere
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of prostitution. if you look at the reaction of social media, a lot of people are saying, it is haiti, for god sakes, how else are they going to eat? that is therux of the question. sexual harassment within those organizations is rampant, so they also need to clean house. there is the culture of male sexual access to women and just the way the media is portraying these stories of exploitation and rape and sexual explication. it really is as to whether they were paid or not or whether they were under age or not. there are no stories about these women and girls about how their lives are devastated, whether they are still alive or not, how they are surviving. and i think we need to change the conversation around the culture of impunity and male 's access to women's bodies.
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amy: save the children, 30 people just fired over this issue as well? people, and i think 19 fired over sexual harassment cases, and it seems to be in the save the children workforce and another 11 fired in 120 countries in top protection issues. i think this cuts across the entire sector. one of the things that shocked me last week is we did have one major charity come out and say, we did not -- we have no issues, no cases to reported to is a sexual misconduct. i just thought, well, you're not looking for them. you're not proactively looking for these cases if you think you haven't got any. every workplace has these problems. what we've seen and what everybody in the aid sector knows or seems to know when you research this is that sexual explication happens, especially in emergency zones and disaster
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zones were civil society has collapsed. and shared he stated be aware of that. can i just say, the statement from oxfam saying we're drawing up a plan of action and it asked, why, z, you have known in oxfam that you had a massive problem since 2011. why didn't you have a plan of action already echo why is it that implemented and why is there not a joint mechanism where every chaired or desk charity, why don't they have a register of who has worked for them, if they cut issues? why can't they cross check that and see of somebody seems to work for them in a vulnerable position with vulnerable people? some of these forms should have been put in place years ago because everyone in the sector seems to know the problem is there. amy: and the issue of, prosecutions is another one. we will continue to follow this story. i wouldn't think sean o'neill, chief reporter at he times of
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london" and we will link to your pieces. edwidge danticat is a haitian-american novelist. taina bien aime, executive director of coalition against trafficking in women. this is democracy now! back in a minute. ♪ [music break]
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amy: bob dylan, a very young bob dylan. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. dozens of students who survived last week's school shooting in florida have arrived in tallahassee to push for new gun control measures. it follows last week's mass shooting at the high school. 17 people were killed. the students are holding a rally today outside the florida statehouse just a day after republican-controlled florida house of representatives blocked a bid to bring up a bill to
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ban sales of assault-style rifles in the state. while the florida shooting has sparked a national debate over guns and the lobbying power of the national rifle association, much less attention has been paid to another aspect of the shooting. the florida gunman, 19-year-old nikolas cruz, was a member of the army junior reserve officer training corps program before he was expelled from the school. he was wearing his jrotc shirt when he carried out the massacre in an attempt to blend in with other students. cruz was also part of a four-person jrotc marksmanship team at the school which had received $10,000 in funding from the nra. 17 months ago the school sent out a tweet saying -- "msd jrotc marksmanship team would like to thank the nra for their grateful donation of nearly $10,000 to upgrade and replenish equipment!" according to the associated press, cruz and other members of the team used air rifles special-made for target shooting, typically on indoor ranges at targets the size of a small coin.
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one of cruz's former classmates said, "he was a very good shot." meanwhile, the army has awarded the medal of heroism to three junior rotc cadets who died in the parkland florida shooting -- 15-year-old peter wang and two 14-year-old freshmen, martin duque and alaina petty. wang reportedly died while holding a door open to help other classmates escape. we are joined now by pat elder. he is the director of the national coalition to protect student privacy, an organization that confronts militarism in schools. author of "military recruiting in the united states." can you respond to what took place at the school, how unusual it is, what jrotc is? >> thank you for having me on, amy. the jrotc program is a military recruitment program that has more than 3000 schools. of those, more than 1600 schools participate in marksmanship programs across the country.
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so we have firing ranges in high schools in every state. they fire .177 caliber rifles. they are co2 fired. the lead projectile travels at 600 feet per second. by comparison, a 22 caliber rifle travels at between 800 feet per second and 900 feet per second. it is a lethal weapon categorized by the army. florida state law specifically prohibits carrying these weapons , these lethal weapons, into schools. amy: so you have nikolas cruz, the confessed gunman, part of the jrotc program, supported by as nra at the school, even the school has these complaints of harassment and abuse and ultimately expel him. t-shirtaring a jrotc when he opens fire on his classmates. >> apparently, he wanted to
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convey to the world he was affiliated with the jrotc program. amy, it is an insidious practice. we have the united states army and the other three branches in the high schools putting lethal weapons into the hands of 13-year-olds and 14-year-olds. it is time this stops. has more than 575,000 children and all the states, and it teaches an insidious, karen does, reactionary view of american history. the united states government, for instance, had an innocent ity boat off the golf and was maliciously fired on by the north vietnamese. we help cubans when their independence because they were treated so poorly by the spanish. i think you get the idea. we're not just talking about putting weapons in the hands of 13-year-olds. we're also talking about a system that brainwashes these children with textbooks for instance, the civics textbook
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programs across the country has a unit on the united states of its entitled "you, the people." i learned as "we, the people congo didn't you? >> what is the connection between the nra and the jrotc programs, at least at the school in florida? >> the nra to believe does not give money. they give materials and supplies. throughout the country, especially in the rust belt and poor urban schools, the individual schools want to set up firing ranges in their schools so they need materials, they need the backstops, they need the targets, the guns, the co2 cartridges, and they need the lead pellets. so the nra will help these schools through a grants process, and they spend money on schools through these grants across the country.
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it should be noted, too, these are lead projectiles. the lead accumulates at the muzzle end of the gun on the floor in the lead accumulates at the target backstop. there has been a link between the lead in firing ranges that have only these types of guns in elevated blood lead levels. that is something that needs to be discussed. there is a health aspect of jrotc shooting in the united states. amy: pat elder, thank you for being with us. we will continue our discussion and post it online at under web exclusives. pat elder is director of the national coalition to protect student privacy, an organization that confronts militarism in schools. author of "military recruiting in the united states." that does it for our broadcast. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
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