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Human rights activists faults UN peace keepers over sexual abuse against civilians

The UN has been accused repeatedly of failing to tackle the issue comprehensively.

Human rights activists faults UN peace keepers over sexual abuse against civilians

The UN has been accused repeatedly of failing to tackle the issue comprehensively.

17 September 2017 Sunday 12:50
Human rights activists faults UN peace keepers over sexual abuse against civilians

By Azania Post Reporter

UN has been blamed for failure to act responsibly against peacekeepers officers who were involved in human rights violations in some of Africa’s operations and beyond the continent .

There have been persistent allegations of sexual abuse in the Central Africa Republic (CAR), the Democratic Republic of Congo and Haiti over the past decade. The UN has been accused repeatedly of failing to tackle the issue comprehensively.

Earlier this week, the British human rights NGO, Redress, released a report titled Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in Peacekeeping Operations, arguing that UN solutions have been limited and grossly inadequate.

The report concluded that there were significant barriers preventing victims from reporting abuse to the UN "stemming from limited information about channels to report, fear and the inevitable conflict of interest when the UN receives complaints about the actions of those working under its mandate."

Commenting on the report, Carla Ferstman, director of Redress and author of the report, said, "It is important that all victims can seek and obtain support and assistance and reparation for the harm suffered. This is not simply a moral obligation on the UN and others setting up and running peacekeeping operations, these are legal responsibilities".

Already UN secretary general's spokesperson said the world body was looking into the allegations made by Code Blue, and that he did not believe the leaked files were a ''representative sample."

It is the latest criticism of how sexual abuse has been investigated in the CAR, where the UN peacekeeping mission had the highest number of misconduct allegations in the world last year.

The UN's 10,000-strong mission in the CAR has been dogged by accusations of sex abuse since it deployed in 2014 to curb fighting between mainly Muslim Seleka rebels, who had overthrown the president, and Christian militias.

Thousands have died, and a fifth of Central Africans have fled violence that broke out in 2013. At least 25 people were killed over the past week as violence continues to erupt in different parts of the country.

The United Nations has vowed to end impunity and to work with the countries contributing peacekeepers to UN missions to do more to combat sexual misconduct among their ranks.

In late August, the UN appointed a special coordinator for improving the UN response to sexual exploitation and abuse.

The issue is expected to come up next week at the UN's annual General Assembly of world leaders.

Aljazeera

Updated: 18.09.2017 11:03
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