Sunday 19 August 2018

Glastonbury Festival stands by Oxfam amid Haiti sex scandal allegations

Emily Eavis pledged the festival’s continued support.

Glastonbury has raised an estimated £6 million for the charity (Ben Birchall/PA)
Glastonbury has raised an estimated £6 million for the charity (Ben Birchall/PA)
Glastonbury Festival organiser Michael Eavis with his daughter Emily Eavis (Anna Barclay/PA)

By Joe Nerssessian, Press Association

Glastonbury organiser Emily Eavis has pledged the festival’s continued support for Oxfam after the charity was engulfed in an aid worker sex scandal.

She vowed to stand by the organisation “for many more years to come” after a number of high-profile ambassadors withdrew their support amid allegations of sexual exploitation within the charity.

Oxfam stands accused of concealing the findings of an inquiry into claims staff used prostitutes while delivering aid in Haiti in 2011.

Eavis, daughter of Glastonbury founder and co-organiser Michael Eavis, said they had been “horrified at the reports in the news” but had been assured by the charity they were taking action “to ensure a vigorous safeguarding plan for the future”.

Since launching their partnership with Oxfam in 1993, Glastonbury has raised an estimated £6 million for the charity.

She added: “But let us not forget that abuse of power is a wider issue in society.”

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Glastonbury Festival organiser Michael Eavis with his daughter Emily Eavis (Anna Barclay/PA)

Eavis said she had visited Haiti and met people in remote communities where the organisation is a “lifeline”.

“So we would like to pledge our continued support for Oxfam and the brave and vital work which it undertakes.

“Oxfam do outstanding work all over the world and we firmly believe that the good does still far outweigh the appalling behaviour of the few whose actions have caused such harm.

“We will continue to support Oxfam’s incredible work for many more years to come,” she added.

Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu is among those who have quit from ambassador roles at the charity since allegations first surfaced.

The South African emeritus archbishop said he was “deeply disappointed” by the revelations, while actress Minnie Driver and Senegalese musician Baaba Maal also quit as celebrity ambassadors.

On Thursday, actor Simon Pegg announced he would stand by the charity as it would be “wrong” to punish the organisation as a whole.

Earlier this week at the NME Awards, Eavis’ father, Michael, told the Press Association: “We’ve raised millions through the years with Oxfam – six million quid and everyone’s said what a wonderful charity they are and we still support them.

“And for a few dodgy people – like with the NHS you get a few dodgy doctors and it doesn’t discredit the NHS does it? So why should it affect Oxfam?”

Press Association

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