We received 54 cases of sexual abuse in first months of 2018 – UN

The UN received allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse in 54 separate cases in the first three months of the year.

A total of 66 alleged victims, including 13 girls under 18 and 16 victims whose ages are unknown, have come forward from the UN between Jan. 1 and March 31, a spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said.

Two allegations were substantiated, but details of what action was taken was not available.

A further two were dismissed and the result of one investigation is under review.

“Every allegation involving our personnel undermines our values and principles and the sacrifice of those who serve with pride and professionalism in some of the most dangerous places in the world,” spokesman Farhan Haq told newsmen.

The reports relate to UN staff accused of abuse and exploitation against beneficiaries of UN assistance on the ground.

Of the 54 allegations, 14 are from peacekeeping operations and 18 from the UN’s agencies, funds and programmes.

The UN’s peacekeeping missions have been rocked by accusations of rape, sexual assault and transactional sex in recent years.

In 2017, a battalion of Congolese UN peacekeepers was sent home from the Central African Republic after widespread accusations of sexual abuse.

UN chief Guterres has pledged to stamp out sexual abuse and exploitation under the UN flag.

Criticism of the UN’s handling of allegations, as well as a highly critical report by an independent review panel, led him to appoint a victims’ rights advocate in 2017.(dpa/NAN)

 

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