6 Personnel of UN Mission in Liberia Disciplined
Following Probe, 6 Personnel of UN Mission in Liberia Are Disciplined – Report
New York, Jun 7 2006 6:00PM
Stressing its determination to end all forms of misconduct, including sexual exploitation and abuse, the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) today issued a new report on the problem among its personnel, six of whom faced disciplinary action stemming from investigations by the world body’s independent oversight office.
Disciplinary measures included repatriation, with a referral to the national court system of the accused for criminal prosecution, or summary dismissal, with a ban on participation in future UN missions, UNMIL said.
“The United Nations and UNMIL are committed to preventing and sanctioning misconduct, in particular, the abhorrent practice of sexual exploitation and abuse,” the report states. “The UN policy is clear – zero tolerance to sexual exploitation and abuse.”
Allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse involving UNMIL personnel are automatically investigated by a resident autonomous unit from the Office of the Internal Oversight Service (OIOS), with unimpeded access to personnel, and a reporting chain independent of the mission management.
Aiming to prevent misconduct, the UN has developed a comprehensive standardized training module that focuses on accountability and consequences. Last year, over 1,300 civilian personnel, 350 UN Police and more than 13,000 military personnel from UNMIL received training focused on the issues of sexual exploitation and abuse.
So far this year, UNMIL has turned over 17 cases to the local independent UN Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS).
In 2005, OIOS investigated three cases of rape or attempted rape, nine cases involving prostitution, 18 cases of sexual exploitation, two cases of sexual abuse and 13 cases of sex with minors, UNMIL said.
After a preliminary investigation, three cases were closed due to lack of evidence. Investigation had been completed in two dozen cases, so far disciplining six persons. Investigations are continuing in the 16 other cases that stood.