World / Newsmakers

UN peacemakers alleged of sexual abuse against children

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-06-24 09:32

UNITED NATIONS - The UN Mission in Central African Republic (MINUSCA) reported that it received allegations of sexual abuse against street children in the capital Bangui by its peacekeepers, said a spokesperson here on Tuesday.

"If the allegations are substantial, this would constitute a grave violation of UN principles and conduct for UN peacekeepers," UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told a daily briefing.

The allegations by members of one of MINUSCA's contingents came not long after the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) released a report on evaluation of sexual exploitation by the UN and related personnel in peacekeeping operations.

The report found that sexual exploitation and abuse by UN peacekeepers is under-reported, investigations take excessively long and assistance to victims is rare.

In this MINUSCA case, the UN responded quickly to the new allegations. Dujarric said "the troop contributing member state was immediately notified and an investigation procedure was initiated. Medical care and assistance is being provided to the alleged victims."

The member state would be requested to take "swift and appropriate punitive action" if the allegations are substantiated, he added.

In recent few weeks, the UN has been faced with growing uproar over several cases related to sexual abuse allegations.

On Monday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon just appointed an independent panel to review the UN response to the allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse of children by foreign military forces "not under United Nations command" in the Central African Republic.

The panel is also mandated to make recommendations on how the UN should respond to similar allegations in the future and on any shortcomings in existing procedures.

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