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54 sex abuse cases system-wide in first three months of 2018: UN
May 02,2018   By:Xinhua
UNITED NATIONS, May 2, 2018 -- In the first quarter of this year there were 54 allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse, compared to 40 such cases in the last quarter of 2017, covering 95,000 civilians and 90,000 uniformed personnel working for the United Nations, a UN spokesman said Tuesday.
 
"Of those 54 allegations, 14 are reported from peacekeeping operations and 18 from agencies, funds and program," said Deputy UN Spokesman Farhan Haq. "Twenty-one allegations are relating to implementing partners and 1 to a member of a non-UN international force."
 
Implementing partners are third-party organizations under UN contract to aid the world organization, its agencies and programs in carrying out their mandates.
 
"Of the 54 allegations, 17 are categorized as sexual abuse, 34 as sexual exploitation, and 3 are of an unknown nature," Haq told reporters at a regular briefing in UN headquarters. "The allegations involve 66 victims - including 13 girls (under the age of 18) and 16 victims whose age remains unknown."
 
"With regard to the status of the allegations, 2 have been substantiated by an investigation; 2 were not substantiated; 21 are at various stages of investigation; 27 are under preliminary assessment; and 1 investigation's result is under review," Haq said.
 
The tally and publication of these cases of sexual exploitation and abuse in the UN system were made in line with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' initiative on increasing transparency on these allegations.
 
No year-ago comparisons in the statistics were available since publication of this data is only available beginning with the third quarter of 2017.
 
"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," the deputy spokesman said.
 
"But 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," he said.
 
"For this reason, combating this scourge, and helping and empowering those who have been scarred by these egregious acts, continue to be key priorities for the secretary-general in 2018," Haq said.
 
That initial, Third Quarter report, said Guterres has "instructed the heads of all entities system-wide to provide action plans and risk analyses to commit the leadership to the fight against sexual exploitation and abuse and almost all have been received." 
 
By: William M. Reilly
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