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Annan admits rise in sexual abuse allegations in UN

May 06, 2005 09:43 IST

Allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation made by and about United Nations personnel in 2004 were more than double the number reported in 2003, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said on Thursday.

Annan noted in a report to the General Assembly that while 121 allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse were registered in 2004, the number was just 53 for 2003. "The increase in the allegations is deeply troubling," he said.

However, he said the contributing factors behind the rise included clearer reporting procedures and new response measures.

The report said that 16 allegations, ranging from inappropriate verbal conduct to sexual assault and rape, were reported from all United Nations entities other than the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations.

The other 105 allegations came from DPKO and its 77,330 personnel. "Forty-five per cent of those allegations involved sex with minors and 15 per cent involved rape or sexual assault," the report said. Thirty-one per cent involved prostitution with adult women and the remaining 6 per cent involved other forms of sexual exploitation and abuse.

Seventy-three allegations against uniformed personnel were sent to the Board of Inquiry -- 15 investigations were pending, five were found to be unsubstantiated while allegations were substantiated in 53 cases by the end of last year.

In substantiated cases, the military personnel were repatriated on disciplinary grounds and member states were responsible for following up.

For civilian personnel, one allegation needed no further action and 15 were probed. Up to last December, of those 15, seven cases were sent to the UN Headquarters for disciplinary action, seven investigations were pending and one allegation was seen as unsubstantiated.


Suman Guha Mozumder at the United Nations