Legendary Spanish pop-rocker Miguel Bosè will quit his role as ambassador for Oxfam in light of the sex abuse scandal which has recently hit the headlines, saying he ‘cannot be party to such barbaric actions’.
Following immediately on from South African Archbishop and Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu, Bosè – who is the uncle of the late singer and model Bimba and has been churning out hit records for nearly 39 years – has left the global charity after almost 20 years as one of its public faces.
Along with allegations that a small minority of aid workers used prostitutes in some of the poorest parts of HaÏti and Chad, particularly after the former’s devastating earthquake in 2010 – some of whom were only children or young teenagers – the latest allegations to hit the headlines centre on a female humanitarian employee who was sexually and physically assaulted twice during missions.
The victim, who has not been named and was clearly very distressed as she described her ordeal, says she was pinned against a wall and molested by a fellow aid worker in Haïti and, later, following a New Year’s Eve party whilst working in South Sudan, suffered an attempted rape by a male colleague who entered her bedroom uninvited, ripped her clothes off and pinned her to the bed.
Nobody bothered to help her, even though men in other rooms heard her screams for help and realised she was trying to hold her door closed with all her strength, as it did not have a lock on it.
Oxfam Intermón, the Spanish branch of the charity, lost 1,200 regular subscribers out of its total of 193,000 in the first two days after the scandal came to light.
Many others, however, are urging supporters not to withdraw their funding and goodwill ambassador roles, since the overwhelming majority of aid workers are honest and conscientious, and Oxfam’s efforts in disaster-hit and poverty-stricken countries have saved hundreds of thousands of lives and paved the way for a far brighter future for scores of children in the third world.
The photograph from Oxfam’s website shows Bosè visiting a cotton plant in Perú.