The United Nations on Friday said 31 new cases alleging sexual abuse and exploitation have been filed against its officials between July and September, AP reported. Almost half of those facing the allegations are employed in UN agencies to help refugees.
Of the 31 cases, 12 involve military personnel from peacekeeping operations deployed in Central African Republic and Mali, among other places. Fifteen cases involve the civilian staff at the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. While three cases are against officials at the International Organisation for Migrations, one was against a person working for the United Nations Children’s Fund.
UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said that many of the allegations have not yet been verified, and some are in the preliminary assessment phase, Reuters reported. Several of the reported allegations took place in 2017, Dujarric said, adding that two had taken place in 2016, while six more in 2015 or before that. Eleven have no known date, he added.
According to the United Nations, there were 80 allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse involving its peacekeepers and 65 allegations involving UN staff in 2016. In January, the organisation started a new system of data collection on allegations of sexual abuse to increase transparency. This was the first three-month update and Dujarric said the organisation will continue to report quarterly data.