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#MeToo hits Haiti, UK Charity exposed in sex scandal, President to launch investigation of all foreign aide groups



Haiti, February 13, 2018 – Haiti will launch investigations into all foreign aide organizations operating in the country after the details of another #metoo scandal broke a day ago, involving the people of Haiti and the charity from the United Kingdom.

News articles online are exposing that a UK charity, Oxfam, once headed by a slew of what could only be described as serial sex-abusing executives was engaged with prostitutes.

President of Haiti, Jovenel Moise was on the record with the BBC, he condemned the actions of Oxfam, which set up in Haiti in 2011 to offer support in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake which killed 300,000 people there.

Okfam is now embroiled in this newest ‘MeToo’ scandal which is attracting international attention and generating new news reports hourly on the shocking behavior of its leaders, though the cases date back seven years.

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One woman reporting to the BBC said the local people knew Oxfam was a sham, that it was exploiting the natives and having sexual relationships with every, and anyone.  She listed employees and prostitutes as those caught up in the sexual affairs and said the money being collected, was not for helping Haitians, it was for living it up in a lavish lifestyle.

Oxfam, established since 1942 is a confederation of 19 charities and has as its mantra the ‘power of people against poverty’.  A BBC report reveals that ‘Oxfam received £31.7m from the UK government, ($44m USD) which is about a quarter of a percent of what the government spends on foreign aid each year.  The charity had a total income of £409m last year, of which £176m came from government and other public authorities.  Of the rest, £108m came from donations and legacies and £91m from sales in its shops.’

Oxfam is not obviously not denying the allegations.  In fact, the organization has confirmed that the sexual misconduct happened and in 2011 terminated the executives and employees guilty of the offenses.

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The Deputy Chief Executive of Oxfam, Penny Lawrence, on Monday resigned saying she was ashamed and accepted responsibility for what happened on her watch.  Oxfam also met with the British government which has reportedly threatened to pull funding and demanded all documentation on the sex cases.  The scandal has also elicited an EU warning.

But that is it so far.  The crime of misappropriating funds, of using donor money to finance their sex-crazed lifestyles and the set back of using people ill-equipped to bring the rebound which Haiti needs, remains unpunished said one news report.

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President Moise tweeted a stern message on Monday, “There is nothing more outrageous and dishonest than a sexual predator who uses his position as part of the humanitarian response to a natural disaster to exploit needy people in their moment of greatest vulnerability,” he said.  “What happened with Oxfam in Haiti is an extremely serious violation of human dignity,” he said in another tweet.

A main figure in this foreign aide mess is a man who had been put out of other organizations for similar behavior and who was reported upon for years, with no one stepping in or stopping him.

Roland Van Hauwermeiren had been forced out of aide organizations in Liberia, Chad and in Haiti in 2011 after admitting that he entertained prostitutes at his Oxfam funded villa.  Still, Van Hauwermeiren was repeatedly re-hired and went on from his post in Haiti to work in Bangladesh as the director of Action Against Hunger, a French charity.

Some believe the repercussion for those who admitted to these acts were not harsh enough, and also charge that the charities are not doing thorough enough background checks on the individuals which staff the institutions.

Haitians learning of the level of ‘insatiable debauchery’ by Oxfam workers and leaders are furious, said another report.

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May 21, 2024 – The Turks and Caicos Islands have clear laws prohibiting the possession of firearms and or ammunition without a licence and strict penalties in order to serve and protect the community. Our Firearms Ordinance, which was amended in 2022, states that:

No person (other than a licensed gunsmith in the course of his trade) shall have in his possession, discharge or use any firearm or ammunition unless he is the holder of a firearm licence with respect to such firearm, or in case of ammunition he is the holder of a licence for a firearm which takes that ammunition.

Firearm and/or ammunition offences carry a mandatory minimum custodial sentence of twelve years plus a fine. Where a court finds there are exceptional circumstances, the sentencing judge has discretion, under the law, to impose a custodial sentence and a fine that are fair and just in the circumstances of each case rather than impose the mandatory minimum.

The Chief Justice is advancing sentencing guidelines in respect of the application of exceptional circumstances. Wider work is also ongoing with criminal justice partners to review the efficiency and effectiveness of case progression, in driving justice outcomes.

It is the traveller’s responsibility to ensure their baggage is free of firearms and/or ammunition. Permission from an airline carrier does not constitute permission to bring firearms or ammunition into the Turks and Caicos Islands. Travellers are also strongly advised to search their luggage before they travel to the Turks and Caicos Islands to ensure they do not bring in forbidden items inadvertently. Such offences will result in arrest.

The Turks and Caicos Islands is a British Overseas Territory with a common law legal system, and reserves the right to enforce its laws. All persons, including visitors, must follow lawful process.

The Turks and Caicos Islands welcomes all visitors but reminds travellers that persons in the Turks and Caicos Islands do not have a constitutional right to carry firearms. Equally, the importation of firearms, ammunition (including stray bullets), and other weapons is strictly forbidden, unless licence to do so has been issued by the Commissioner of Police.

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Caribbean News

CTO to Focus on Aviation at Caribbean Week in New York



New York (May 16, 2024) – Celebrating its 35th anniversary, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) is set to spotlight the future of Caribbean aviation during Caribbean Week in New York, scheduled for June 16-21, 2024, at the InterContinental Times Square in midtown Manhattan.

Under CTO’s annual theme “Connecting the Globe, Celebrating Diversity”, the week promises a diverse lineup of activities emphasizing innovation and connectivity.

A key feature of the premier event for travel industry professionals, journalists and members of the Caribbean Diaspora will be the Caribbean Airlift Forum.

Rosa Harris, Chairman of the CTO Board of Directors and Spokesperson for Caribbean Week, will moderate the forum. She emphasized the importance of this session as a critical platform for discussing the challenges and opportunities in Caribbean air transportation.

The session will cover topics including route development, aviation competitiveness, partnerships, infrastructure investment, regulatory frameworks, and market demand strategies. It aims to foster dialogue among airlines, airports, tourism authorities, and aviation ministries, enhancing connectivity and optimizing access to Caribbean destinations.

“In the wake of the pandemic, Caribbean aviation has shown remarkable resilience and adaptability, rebounding strongly in key areas. However, as we celebrate these gains during our Caribbean Week in New York, it’s crucial that we don’t become complacent,” stated Harris.

“We must continue to innovate and address the persistent challenges within intra-regional tourism, which, while recovering, remains a challenge for many of our destinations,” she continued. “Our focus at the Caribbean Airlift Forum is not only on celebrating our successes but also on critically analyzing our challenges to strengthen and diversify our connections to, from and across the region, ensuring a more robust and connected Caribbean.”

The week also features a Business and Tourism Marketing Symposium, the Caribbean Media Awards, and sessions focused on artificial intelligence, crisis communications, and multicultural marketing.

With the support of headline sponsor, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation; gold sponsors Cayman Islands Department of Tourism and the United States Virgin Islands Department of Tourism; and Diamonds International and the Caribbean Media Exchange, Caribbean Week in New York 2024 is poised to be a pivotal meeting for tourism professionals and stakeholders in the region and the Diaspora.

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CHTA Launches Multi-Destination Media Trip to Showcase Caribbean Interconnectivity and Diversity



May 21, 2024


The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) is gearing up for its first multi-destination media trip, designed to illuminate the interconnectedness and diversity across the Caribbean. Scheduled from May 17 to 27, this initiative will showcase the vibrant cultures, breathtaking landscapes, and unique experiences spanning St. Lucia, Barbados, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands.

Nicola Madden-Greig, President of CHTA, expressed enthusiasm for the program and stressed its significance: “This initiative is a testament to the collaborative spirit and interconnected nature that define Caribbean tourism. Our goal is to showcase the diverse offerings of St. Lucia, Barbados, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, inspiring travelers to explore the myriad experiences our region has to offer.” Although the Dominican Republic had to withdraw due to unforeseen circumstances, there are plans to include the nation in future endeavors of this nature.

Madden-Greig reiterated, “The Caribbean is often thought of as one homogenous place, so if you have seen one island you have seen the Caribbean. This trip will debunk that myth and truly showcase the diversity, mystique, and cultural prowess of our distinct islands. Just like you can explore many destinations in Europe having totally diverse experiences, the Caribbean offers the same opportunity.”

Developed in collaboration with the Jamaica Tourist Board, Jamaica Hotel & Tourist Association, Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, Cayman Islands Department of Tourism, and Cayman Islands Tourism Association, the itinerary promises an immersive experience. Participants will enjoy the stunning landscapes and beaches of St. Lucia, indulge in an exciting layover in Barbados, discover the culture and radiant beauty of Jamaica, and experience the iconic sites of the Cayman Islands.

Strategically timed to coincide with Caribbean Travel Marketplace from May 21 to 23 in Jamaica, the media trip aims to maximize the event’s networking opportunities. Journalists can enrich their coverage of the multi-destination experience with insights and connections from the region’s premier tourism conference.

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