World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

UN Adopts Strategy To Aid Victims Of Sexual Abuse


UN forum adopts strategy to aid victims of sexual abuse by Organization's staff

In a major step forward in addressing sexual exploitation and abuse by United Nations personnel, a working group of the General Assembly today agreed on a strategy to assist victims, ranging from medical treatment and counselling to social support, legal services and material care.

In addition, the strategy commits the UN to helping children born as a result of sexual exploitation and abuse.

"This is an important day for the victims, whose suffering can be reduced with the UN's support," the Chair of the working group, Costa Rica's Permanent Representative Jorge Urbina, said.

The UN, which fields nearly 200,000 people from over 100 countries in its peacekeeping missions, has instituted a policy of zero tolerance against sexual abuse and exploitation ever since the problem surfaced in 2004, when a UN report found that a "shockingly large number" of peacekeepers had engaged in such practices in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The report cited payments for sex sometimes ranging from two eggs to $5 per encounter. The victims included many abandoned orphans who were often illiterate.

Assistant Secretary-General Jane Holl Lute, Officer-in-Charge of the Department of Field Support, called today's agreement an important day for the UN. "This policy represents a long overdue measure to strengthen our policy of zero tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse," she said.

Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Margareta Wahlström noted that a comprehensive approach to victim assistance throughout the UN "will greatly enhance the efficacy of assistance efforts and therefore make an important difference in the lives of victims."

The strategy was developed in part as follow-up to the 2005 World Summit, during which Member States called for a comprehensive approach to victim assistance. The strategy is one arm of a broader UN effort to address sexual exploitation and abuse by UN personnel that includes prevention, enforcement and remedial action.

The adoption of the strategy today was undertaken by an ad hoc open-ended working group. The Assembly is expected to formally adopt the strategy before the current session closes.

ENDS

Latest World News | Top World News | World Digest | Archives | RSS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: Zimbabwe - Meet The New Bosses

At 75, Mnangagwa is not exactly what you’d call a new broom. As many observers have pointed out, his track record has been one of unswerving dedication to Mugabe ever since the days of anti-colonial insurgency... To these guys, things had to change in Zimbabwe, so that things could remain the same. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: Is This Guy The World’s Most Dangerous Thirtysomething?

Saudi Arabia has long been regarded as a pillar of stability in the Middle East, and is the essential caterer to the West’s fossil fuel needs. It is also the country that gave us Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks... More>>

ALSO:

Non-Binding Postal Vote: Australia Says Yes To Same Sex Marriage

Binoy Kampmark: Out of 150 federal seats, 133 registered affirmative totals in returning their response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”. More>>

ALSO:

Bonn Climate Change Conference: Protecting Health In Small Island States

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC