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We must not allow protectors to become predators – UN field support chief

We must not allow protectors to become predators – UN field support chief

Violence against women

United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Field Support said the allegations of sex abuse by peacekeepers is “truly an abomination.”

The UN today presented its latest report on special measures to protect people from these crimes.

“In the report published today, which largely focuses on peacekeeping, because there are a total of 99 allegations which were reported, with 69 related to peacekeeping.

“The Secretary-General now has proposed new initiatives to strengthen our support to victims and to, of course, take a very strong stance on accountability.

“The fact that I’m a peacekeeper of more than 20 years duration, I strongly believe, as does the Secretary-General, the Deputy Secretary-General, and indeed everybody else that anyone serving under the U.N. flag should prey on the vulnerable is truly an abomination.

“We will never, never agree to protectors turning into perpetrators. We will not let up in our response to ensure that our prevention measures are robust, that where incidents occur victims receive support and allegations are vigorously investigated so that ultimately justice is served,” Atul Khare, the Under-Secretary-General for Field Support said.

With 99 allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse uncovered by the United Nations in 2015 – 69 of these are in countries where peacekeeping operations are deployed.

Last December, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon pledged to urgently review recommendations made by an independent panel which found that the UN did not act with the “speed, care or sensitivity required,” when it uncovered information about crimes committed against children by soldiers – not under UN command – sent to the Central African Republic (CAR) to protect civilians.

Meanwhile, new allegations of sexual abuse have continued to emerge against UN peacekeepers in the country, with the UN Mission there, MINUSCA, recently reporting seven new possible victims in the town of Bambari.