UN civilian staff have often been accused of abusing their positions and power during missions in troubled parts of the world. Now, allegations of sexual abuse against UN staff members is on the rise.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in the report to the UN General Assembly that while the number of alleged victims and perpetrators decreased last year, the number of allegations increased to 80 from the 56 reported in 2018.
More than half of the 2019 allegations — 41 — were related to the UN peacekeeping mission in Central African Republic, while 15 involved the mission in Congo, the report said. The joint African Union-United Nations peacekeeping force in Darfur, the UN force in Lebanon, and the former peacekeeping missions in Liberia and Haiti accounted for three-fourths of the remaining 24 cases, it said.
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The rest involved three special political missions — the Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria, the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia, and the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea -Bissau.
The United Nations has long been in the spotlight over allegations of child rape and other sexual abuses by its peacekeepers, especially those based in Central African Republic and Congo. But the latest figures demonstrate again that sexual misconduct spans the entire UN system.