Friday, April 16, 2010

Child Exploitation: Statistics on allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse involving UN peacekeeping personnel

Source: United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO)

United Nations, New York, 15 April 2010: As part of the efforts to improve transparency on the issue of sexual exploitation and abuse involving peacekeeping personnel, as of December 2009 the Departments of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) and Field Support (DFS) have begun to issue quarterly press releases to make public updated statistics regarding sexual exploitation and abuse cases in field Missions. During the first quarter of 2010, the Departments reported a total of 24 allegations, ten of them concerning minors. During the first quarter of 2009, the number of allegations was 29, ten of them concerning minors. Further details are available on the UN Conduct and Discipline website (

"We are continuing our efforts to report on the issue in a more transparent and systematic manner," said Susana Malcorra, Under-Secretary-General for the Department of Field Support. "We are painfully aware that SEA continues to be a major challenge for the peacekeeping family and one of our goals is to take every possible preventative measure to ensure no harm comes to those we serve", she added.

The latest Report of the Secretary-General on Special Measures for Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, released in February 2010 (A/64/669), recognized the strong preventative measures put in place and indicated that "sustained attention must continue to be paid to the issue".

Complementing existing training materials on sexual exploitation and abuse, Conduct and Discipline Teams in Lebanon, Côte d'Ivoire, Liberia, Western Sahara and Timor Leste began piloting new induction training during the first quarter of 2010. The new materials provide an overview of the UN Standards of Conduct and focus on all other forms of misconduct, such as fraud, theft, corruption and abuse of authority.

"The vast majority of troops conduct themselves in a professional and admirable manner, but there are some instances where misconduct occurs. This is simply unacceptable when you serve under the UN flag and we convey this message on every interaction we have with our Troop Contributing Countries, with whom we are working closely" said Alain Le Roy, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations. "On Sexual Exploitation and Abuse cases, we are following up with Member States on a case-by-case basis and we will continue to engage with them to increase the level of response to substantiated cases of misconduct," he said.

There are currently 14 Conduct and Discipline Teams covering 19 peacekeeping and special political missions. These teams have launched extensive outreach campaigns to ensure that the local population understands the process for filing an allegation and to call upon the UN's partners (including NGOs) to report any allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse that they may be aware of as soon as possible, as rapid response is key in ensuring that investigations and follow up occur in an accurate and timely manner.

The UN is profoundly committed to a zero tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse. Sexual relations with any persons under 18 or with prostitutes are strictly prohibited

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