Dubai – Masaader News
The United Nations has received 40 allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse across its entities and implementing partners for the last three months of 2017, including 15 reported from peacekeeping operations, UN Spokesman Stéphane Dujarric announced on Thursday.
“Not all allegations have been fully verified, and many are in the preliminary assessment phase,” Mr. Dujarric told reporters at the regular briefing at UN Headquarters in New York.
The remaining 25 allegations were reported by UN agencies, funds and programmes, and include eight allegations relating to implementing partners.
Of the 40 allegations, 13 are categorized as sexual abuse, 24 as sexual exploitation, and three are of an unknown nature.
The allegations involve 54 victims; 30 are women and 16 are girls under the age of 18, and the ages of 8 others are unknown, with 12 of the 40 allegations occurred in 2017, seven in 2016, three in or before 2015, and the dates unknown for 18 of them.
Two allegations have been substantiated by an investigation; there were not substantiated; 15 are at various stages of investigation; 18 are under preliminary assessment; two are under review with limited information provided to the investigating entity, Mr. Dujarric said.
“With over 95,000 civilians and 90,000 uniformed personnel working for the UN, sexual exploitation and abuse are not reflective of the conduct of the majority of the dedicated women and men who serve the Organization,” he said, emphasizing however that “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.”
For this reason, Mr. Dujarric stressed, combating this scourge, and helping and empowering those who have been scarred by these egregious acts, continue to be key priorities for UN Secretary-General António Guterres in 2018.