UNETHICAL

Report: Doctors Without Borders Used Prostitutes in Africa

Aid workers at medical charity Doctors Without Borders used local prostitutes while working in Africa, according to whistleblowers, with one alleging that workers boasted about bartering medication in exchange for sex. A BBC report says the allegations are against logistical staff—not doctors or nurses—who worked at Doctors Without Borders (known as Médecins Sans Frontières outside of U.S.) and had not been verified. “The girls were very young and rumored to be prostitutes,” said one whistleblower, adding that it was “implicit” that they were there for sex. “My colleague, who was staying in the same residence for a long time, felt that this was a regular occurrence,” she also said. Another whistleblower claimed she was told by a senior colleague how easy it was to exchange drugs for sex. “He said, ‘Oh, it’s so easy to barter medication with these easy girls in Liberia,’” the whistleblower told the BBC. “He was suggesting lots of the young girls who had lost their parents to the Ebola crisis would do anything sexual in exchange for medication.” The charity said it does not tolerate “abuse, harassment, or exploitation.”

Correction: The BBC reports that a whistleblower said an aid worker was heard boasting of bartering medication for sex in Africa, but the witness did not see such behavior happen. A previous version of this report incorrectly stated the whistleblower accused aid workers of exchanging drugs for sex.