tv The Stream 2018 Ep 52 Al Jazeera March 29, 2018 10:32pm-11:00pm +03
federation from diplomatic missions is also mirrored. also in new demands to be given access to. the daughter of the former russian spy who was also poisoned with a nerve agent is a mess that mr pollard is recovering well in hospital and is now in a stable condition doctors say she is improving rapidly although it's unclear if she will be able to speak to investigators mr powell remains in critical condition at least sixty eight people have died in a fire in the overcrowded cells of a police station in venezuela relatives of prisoners have fourth with riot police outside the station after being given little information about what happened. the leaders of north and south korea have agreed to meet face to face for the only the third time since the end of the korean war sixty five years ago they announced one follows high level talks in the militarized zone between the two countries south korea's new joy in will meet north korea's kim jong un in the same port
a village on april the twenty seven minutes to say the north's nuclear disarmament will be a critical point the funerals taking place for an unarmed black man who was shot dead by u.s. city of sacramento twenty two year old stefan clarke was killed by officers who say they thought he had a gun but investigators found a mobile phone near his body. for the headlines but don't go away next stop is the stream and i'll get back in about half now.
hi i'm ometepe dean and you're in the stream live on al-jazeera and you tube today we asked the boss of oxfam international one of the world's biggest aid groups how the organization can fix the reputation damaged by sex abuse scandals. would go to fix the i would his and the id industry needs to be full of humility now they are a very very many good i'd work is out there and certainly not every i'd work was a paid for but the systematic problem is the culture of the industry the churnalism and just think of oxfam not even reporting it to the local police what was going through the head. in february oxfam international came under scrutiny following reports that some aid workers paid prostitutes for sex while on assignment in haiti back in two thousand and ten two thousand and eleven internal investigation led to the firing of four staff members three others including former country director
roland van how were myron were allowed to resign him and how are myron has been linked to a similar case in chad in two thousand and six while also serving as the head of the aid group in the country at the time since news of the scandal broke oxfam has lost at least seven thousand regular donors when he being the mother current executive director of oxfam was not the head of the organization when the alleged events took place but she is now tasked with repairing a damaged reputation so can she right the wrongs of her organization she joins us live from our studio in nairobi kenya to discuss just that welcome to the stream with me. when i want to start by asking you if you can take us back to that moment when you first found out about this were you shocked and how did you learn about this. i was shocked i was heart i felt outrage and that's the feeling of the majority of all of the people at oxfam
we stand for values and this incident brought face to our faces the fact that some of us didn't live up to the values of oxfam and we're still going through the shock and the pain of knowing that we didn't live up to what we preach we lost trust of our supporters and our supporters are made up ordinary people bus drivers teachers nurses but these men these people give us a check every month because they believe in international solidarity we let these people down is painful we're working hard to restore that trust of course and you know i appreciate your candid response and you bring up trust and you know knowledge of how much trust has been lost i'm curious when when and how did the
news come to you was it before you took you know the position was it after was it in person that they informed you i'm just curious. you know when i came into the organization in two thousand and fourteen i learnt that there had been a scandal in haiti and oh took that a review had done and following that review we had built up a system was safe we had set up a team that never existed we had strengthened the whistle blowing system we heard started bitterly vista gay scholem's and we were on the road to recovery and that is part of what they have been supporting but obviously what's happened no tells us that what we were doing was simply not enough simply not enough and but we were on that one a journey but we were not doing everything possible to stamp out six of misconduct
of course and we need you know our online community you know raising a lot of questions around how the investigation is proceeding as well as you know how trust really factors into this and what it means to you i want to share this question from grace not to bhalo saying is oxfam investigating all its offices worldwide and you know with that i want to ask you because you brought up trust how do you regain the trust of communities that you serve. you know trust comes through words trust will come through action and action we've taken this has been a wakeup call to why there are many things we've started working on right away for example we've tripled our funding for safeguarding work and doubled the number of staff on the ground to do this we introduced a system for referencing so no one can come to an organization and get
a refrain from their friends and go away and reoffend so we have references that are now rich refreeze who are registered every reference is cleared we have we have strengthened whistleblowing so that victims can feel safe to report a not fear that's part of the we have put in place funny depended cognition or they respected human rights women's rights leaders were going to look at us from head to toe and advise us on how to improve our culture and our practice because this is about abuse of power raises the culture of the organization and we're going to take advice which we it's actually it's actually that was we thought the trust of our supporters. and you know with that in mind you talk about this being about abuse of power as you put it very kind of bluntly so if you have here
and one saying to me this is much bigger than just holding your colleagues accountable and holding gender sensitivity training as an office is this abuse is deeply rooted in racism sexism neocolonialism now we're going to be obviously touching on some of those topics throughout this conversation but before we move on from the question of and i say so please of course that's why you're here i want to agree with sophia absolutely but you know we're asking ourselves fundamental questions about their mortgage or human. oh we and their mortgage will depend on us where there's poet. who calls the shots and these are deep. yes political questions and we're asking ourselves those questions are going to change how we do our human look how do we do a development work and the legitimacy of these will be that women must be in what
women must a voice in what we do and women must feel safe and enjoy the food dignity you know spaces and you know when i'm glad you spoke directly to suffuse point she makes several other points that touch on you know how this is a systematic kind of problem across the board not just with oxfam but i do want to you know go back to oxfam specifically and what happened in february back in february the former head of oxfam barbara stocking spoke to the b.b.c. about why roland how we're myron was not fired under her watch for what was going on in haiti and instead stayed on for another month take a look at this. well because we wanted him there because what we were afraid of was that there were more people there and we didn't immediately want that exposed and we wanted to make sure we could get in and also make sure that the wasn't anybody in of the people now so you somebody who was basically an offender to help you with the investigation he was an offender because he had to use prostitutes what do you
make a valid winning and is this how you would have handled it no that's not how hurndall you know what is at stake here is as they say the abuse of power here in a suspicion of crisis is poor listeners the people or the men are the women are they have nothing and see their poorly we hope our. and that poem these losses we have saved their lives we can't then use all power to buy six from there that said you all set it straight to a lot accept that a tour and that is. the moral of that is where for me were all done would have been fired right would not agree fully no way but you see we've learned all these we know all of these we've changed our code
of course we have changed our rules we've strengthened our systems and that would never have been an enormous under my what is most definitely i want to also put to you another comment that's touching and echoing some of what you're referring to from denver in cuba on twitter saying when you represent an ngo by virtue of its being around people who need your help you must appreciate the power dynamics at play and not use your position to gain any favors especially those of a sexual nature it should just be clear from an ethical standpoint now to try and understand why it is not clear because of course this is something that keeps happening over and over i want to hear once more from the former oxfam had barbara stocking she talks about how the organization handled the sexual misconduct claims and what she says about the issue being brought up again several years later take a listen you know your mission statement is championing equal rights a little movement helping marginalize women claim that whites why wouldn't your
first instinct be to say this is shocking we are routine is how we all telling the world that we don't that we need to we did do we but as i said we put out a press release about when the investigation pointed we do think enough nothing new to say nothing new about the story at all what i mean things that come in that we have no idea where they've come from. now that you're in charge when you can you unequivocally say are you capable of saying this behavior is no longer happening and you know back to the question from grace she said it is x. time investigating all its offices worldwide are there any current investigations going on. where i could say to great that we have open dollars the totality of called out to victims to survive us have said come for what we'll do justice for you would strengthen the whistle blowing so that they can report safely and we've opened ourselves we've put in face an independent commission these are
arm's length from us these are highly refutable people who are going to look at our entire system all cultural practices all policies and they're going to advise us we have an externally investigator so if you don't trust so far you can take your case expanded investigator so we're doing everything possible but let me say something here and and i want to see very sensitively the funeral when we do all the right things you know the crisis in haiti was the first. there were allegations oxfam investigated oxfam fired some people some never before they were fired books some up to be reported but didn't report everything said that there was misconduct but didn't say it was sexual we didn't report everything and we are ashamed of that but today we would do we we have fully transparent
reporting everything but my is that morgan they. might choose to be less transparent than forty thousand spearing if they feel that by being ordered transparent yeah they're going to be. so it's so important that every stakeholder particularly the donors and the media take a responsible make sure. and reflective when you one discuss these as a system wide sector wide problem where we all must run when the i appreciate you again being very direct and i saw that teddy was nodding who is a guest who will be joining us in a minute because i want to widen the discussion now because of course oxfam as you point out isn't the only aid organization grappling with this issue. first let's listen to what the head of save the children international told members of the u.k. parliament back in february. this is a systemic problem it's laws we have to fix the youth.
is is probably the most effective in the world is worse accountable age and we cannot afford. this issue to lose the wanted discussion about the role of the youth in the leadership. so how can the international community address the systematic problem you are maybe wondering who teddy was earlier he's one of two guests that are joining us in boston we have pollard donovan she's the co-director of the aids free world and its code blue campaign to end impunity for sexual exploitation. and abused by u.n. peacekeepers and in kampala uganda teddy ruge the co-founder of jaded aid welcome i brought you up because i saw that you were nodding as you know we were listening to winnie before i actually introduced you but you know since you're here i do want to let you speak to what when he said but before i do i want to share with our audience this this article you wrote it's called your white savior complex is
detrimental to my development what did you mean by that and why are you nodding so much as when he was speaking. well so let's break it down a bit and i'm glad that really the early conversation captured a bit of what i wanted to say is that the eight industrial complex is built on very large coal on your shoulders and these in empower imbalance that we need to discuss and i think that's what's truly at the heart of the matter here that you've already touched on is that. those with power have a responsibility to wield it in such a way that it's not in the jury as to the recipients that actually needed the relationship between those that have the power and those that need the help is what is at stake here there are some people within the eight industrial complex that are unable to handle the power that is given to them and able to actually see the
recipients and those colleagues that they're working with do depend on them to actually be there for them in in the in situations of crisis in situations where there disempowered to be able to help themselves and there are certain individuals within all of these organizations international organization not just oxfam by itself but the entire industry itself very small number of individuals that are unable to handle that power and as a result abuse it and we end up with such situations as we have let me state it again it's not just oxfam this is an industry wide situation and to speak to the matter actually in the creation of the day to day game the that we did in twenty fifteen twenty sixteen we asked the aid industry and said look what
is happening in your community in your community what is happening that you found to be truly atrocious or polishing send us those those situations so that we are able to actually be able to talk about them put them in the public and discuss them i will have to say it was truly embarrassing and truly appalling that some of the things that were sent in we could literally not print i can't even discuss to you yeah what was what was sent in to us it was really appalling this happens in the aid in the eye now you can only really i can certainly imagine and you. and i want to kind of jump to you paula with some of what we just heard from teddy of course i know that you have dealt with sexual abuse within the u.n. system as teddy said this is not specific to oxfam and you know before i let you explain to us if there are any overlaps there i want to draw your attention to denver and cuba on twitter who says that you know there are many reasons why the narrative persists it all stems from the elitist mentality ingrained into source
nations and it's premised on a colonial mindset workers inadvertently inherit this approach and must be trained to treat those in need with respect does that ring true to you and what can you share with us about any overlaps you've witnessed. it definitely rings true everything that i've heard spoken so far rings true in the united nations is certainly the most high profile organization in the world that's been rightly accused of sexual exploitation and abuse and it has to be said that the united nations interacts with all these international non-governmental organizations on the ground there many of them are implementing partners of the u.n. so that when you go if you're a refugee in a u.n. sponsored refugee camp then it's likely that the food that you're that's being distributed to you by the through the world food program and so forth is actually being distributed by by people from international and local n.g.o.s i think the
common denominator here amongst all humanitarian institutions and development institutions is that when they're faced with these problems. and they recognize the fact that there is a power differential and the it's not just the tendency it's the absolute practice in every single case for the powerful the then to be put in the position of solving the problem so what's missing from these conversations and the media coverage and so forth are the voices of the people in haiti say in the oxfam crisis the voices of the people who are actually actually offended their lives were offended by this by this crisis so we don't see organizations like the united nations and when i certainly respect what oxfam is is trying to do and it's follows a model but it's a model that hasn't worked yet because they the solutions are in the hands of an elite group of experts and educated people who are who are right tap
then with an eye. out for jamie forgive me for jumping in there he said of the technocrats when yes i was planning to come to you before i do if you just bear with me so. maybe being really center about this and i want to know when you what you're doing to actually solve a problem she says it'll only change if the deep roots and culture of entitlement to other people's bodies and impunity is challenge we what do you think about when you do intend to really tackle this so here is so right this could be the opportunity of this moment you know a sector this wake up call is for us to talk all the root causes of women's insecurity and women subordination. addressing his rights directly this for me is the issue this is abuse of women it
heartens everywhere in society law institutions but it's worst in situations of power of gross poetess midst of the granting a symmetry of power you have more abuse but it's happening live you when society so for me i see an opportunity in my organization to address women's rights rectally to put more resources into women's rights and secondly to change our model of humanitarian work when we went we went to turkey we signed on to the charter for change we said the whole sector said they are going to put more resources through local locked us so that we stand in solidarity so that local people respond themselves directly to crisis right we said we said we'll do even more than this sector needs we said twenty twenty will have channelled thirty percent of our resources through local asked us so that we stand in solidarity with
them but we respond and i want to see women being part of response leading and that's why we're having this what will change of course and that's our shifting to local. and that's exactly why we're having this conversation as jenny weiland refers to she says on twitter a big power disparity between perpetrator and victim and there is none bigger than that of a salaried ex-pat with food rations in his pocket and an orphan child in a displaced persons camp or a widowed mother whose children have no shelter paula was when he was outlining what she's planning to do and hearing that tweet what comes to mind is a real solution something tangible that can be done beyond this rhetoric. so again i think the perspective of the people that that you mentioned in the tweet is completely lost because this illusion is now put into the hands of other powerful people i mean the three of us are powerful people we're. an expert and. not to flip
things around towards al-jazeera but i don't quite understand why the top of the show is introduced by an australian lawyer who just got into this business recently and is now considered the expert who will introduce this topic why not one of the one of the haitian women who are powerful local n.g.o.s why not one of those lawyers who are working regularly with the victim concerned certainly paula forgive me i mean that's a great point as you mention it you know i'm thinking we should hear from those people which is why we're trying to bring as many voices into this show and because we're running out of time i have to just before we wrap. up when he has a ugandan that is now at the helm of a british based aid organization what do you make of this argument about the white savior mentality is it really at the crux of this problem. you know what i don't want to or visualize this issue i want to talk of power and health of
holidays if i grew up in a village where i used to walk past bars and see sex workers they would have their children brought a class with me but they would of their children not even identify themselves as children of sex workers they were stigmatized they where they did not have the confidence to stand up in society and the anything they were not being abused by a white person nor so their use of women is global is in every institution a little less awkward for me one thousand has poured their wing of change behind me i came to this organization oxfam as a women's rights activists and now i see there's a momentum to talk about women's rights in our organization and out there where we
work for me that said listen that's a good lesson two years from now i want to look back and see that oxfam has changed oxfam is if i tell you how to turn second seed has i got you for you right if i meet our amazing eyes with turns on can do respect i think it's a it's a disservice to dismiss the racial imbalance in this situation there's very unfortunately i really apologize that this is actually to a case an easy and we have to end the conversation there and he really heated discussion thank you tara gas and of course the community it's certainly not banned of this conversation a conversation i was continues here at streamed out al jazeera dot com thank you again.
in twenty sixteen when he's revealed that girls from me and some as young as fifteen were trafficked to singapore to work as means it's illegal and costing lives so why does a still continue in law abiding singapore want to when east on al-jazeera. al-jazeera where ever you are. what makes this moment this era we're living for so unique all this is really an attack on truth itself is a lot of misunderstanding but distortion is that of what free speech is supposed to be about that context is hugely important level wise to publish if you have
a kitschy to be offensive or provoke that's all about it as people did setting the stage for a serious debate. up front at this time on al-jazeera. looming the will of the people hinges on the mass media state p.r. machine it's going to overdrive. but just who is influencing who. we just don't know yet where the lines will be drawn between what can be said and what conduct that. some journalists decided to sacrifice their integrity for access to polling the media or opinion the listening post that base time on al-jazeera.