Around thirty reports of sexual abuse by UN staff in three months
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    Around thirty reports of sexual abuse by UN staff in three months

    There were 31 reports of sexual abuse by UN personnel between the 1st of July and the 30th of September. The reports come from all over the world. It was confirmed by UN spokesman Stéphane Dujarric on Friday.

    This information will be used to back up General Secretary Antonio Guterres’ policy of zero tolerance with regards to incidents of sexual violence by UN civil and military personnel. He also expressed his desire for more transparency during a press conference.

    The facts in the reports have not all been confirmed yet. Some are still only in the early stages of investigation, the spokesman added.

    Out of the 31 reports, 12 implicate personnel in charge of peace maintenance operations and 19 implicate UN agency or program employees. 10 reports involve sexual abuse and 19 involve sexual exploitation, but the nature of the other two is not yet known.

    The organisations and operations concerned are the Refugee Commission (15 reports), the Monusco peace mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (4 reports), the peace mission in Liberia (3 reports) and the Central African Republic peace mission (2 reports). 1 report implicates a UNICEF member.

    12 of the reports are about incidents that happened in 2017. 2 reports are on events that took place in 2016 and 6 reports go back to 2015 or earlier. Stéphane Dujarric said he doesn’t know what year the incidents in the other 11 reports happened.

    38 men are named in the reports. 72% of the 36 victims are women and 18% are girls.

    Mr Dujarric said 14 investigations have been opened in three months.

    A wave of reports of sexual abuse has tarnished several peace missions over the last 12 years. Among the countries concerned are the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Ivory Coast, Somalia, Sudan, Afghanistan and Haiti. 

    Maria Novak (Source: Belga)