94 victims allege sexual exploitation by personnel in UN peacekeeping missions


NEW DELHI: The United Nations secretary-general’s report on special measures for protection from sexual exploitation and abuse shows that in 2018, there were 148 allegations against personnel in peacekeeping, other United Nations entities and implementing partners. The number of allegations in 2017 and 2016, were 138 and 165 respectively.

The allegations reported for peacekeeping missions were associated with 94 victims, of whom 83% cent were adults and 17% were children. Alleged perpetrators included 64 military, 14 police and 14 civilian personnel. Of the allegations reported in 2018, 20 (37% involved sexual abuse and 34 (63%) sexual exploitation of an adult.

The report shares data on allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse relating to personnel in peacekeeping and special political missions, other United Nations entities, implementing partners, and non-United Nations international forces authorized by a Security Council mandate. The data pertains the be period between January 1 to 31 December 2018.

On 18 March, the Secretary-General’s report on “Special Measures for the Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse: Implementing a Zero-Tolerance Policy” was issued in New York. In his report, the Secretary-General updates the General Assembly on the efforts that the UN system has undertaken in 2018 to address this “scourge, including highlighting the victim-centered approach”.

It is highlighted that the number of cases of sexual exploitation and abuse reported for peacekeeping missions has decreased, with 54 allegations reported in 2018, compared with 62 and 104 reported in 2017 and 2016, respectively. The majority (74 per cent) of the allegations received in 2018 are from the peacekeeping missions in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), with the remaining 26 per cent associated with the operations in Mali (MINUSMA), Haiti (MINUSTAH), Liberia (UNMIL), and South Sudan (UNMISS).

It is pointed that there were no allegations reported for special political missions in 2018. In 2018, 94 allegations against UN personnel in entities other than peacekeeping were reported. Reports of allegations related to personnel of implementing partners has increased to 109 in 2018, from 25 in 2017.

Noting that there was an increase in number of allegations in 2018, it is highlighted that the report paints a picture that goes beyond the numbers. “It reflects increased awareness and outreach, better reporting tools and improved harmonization across the UN system, among others,” it is stated.

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