UN to publicly follow up on sex abuse cases against peacekeepers

The United Nations will keep a public record of actions taken by troop-contributing countries to investigate and prosecute allegations of sexual abuse by UN troops, a top UN official said Friday.

With 69 confirmed cases of sexual abuse by peacekeepers in 2015, including 22 cases in the Central African Republic alone, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is set to release a report in February that will for the first time name the countries whose troops have been accused of such crimes.

Anthony Banbury, UN assistant secretary general for field support, told reporters Friday that parallel to the report, the UN will publish the list of those countries online and provide updates on the status of investigations.

Under the UN's peacekeeping guidelines, troop contributors have the sole responsibility to prosecute their own military personnel for crimes while on UN duty.

Until now, the UN did not routinely report which countries' contingents have been involved in sexual abuses. Victims have been left with no information on whether the perpetrators have been brought to justice.

Banbury said that reporting the actions taken during investigations would still be up to the troop-contributing country, however, there was "a high expectation" from the UN to provide updates.

"It is our expectation that we will be informed," he said.

UN officials will keep going back "and asking and asking and asking, and when we are informed, we will put it on the website," Banbury said.

He noted that public scrutiny could motivate countries to follow up on allegations, because no country wants to be shamed for not taking action.

Banbury hoped that troop-contributing countries "will see it in their interest and only fair to victims that their actions are indeed reported," he said.

Last update: Sat, 30/01/2016 - 13:30
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