A new UN report on measures for protection from sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers has said action against one such allegation is pending with India which has appointed a focal point to handle future paternity claims related to sexual abuse.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Friday released a report on ‘Special Measures for Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse: A New Approach for consideration by the General Assembly’.
During his first week in office in January 2017, the Secretary-General had established a diverse High-Level Task Force to develop as a matter of urgency a strategy to achieve visible and measurable improvements in the way the Organisation prevents and responds to sexual exploitation and abuse.
“Such acts of cruelty should never take place. Certainly no person serving with the United Nations in any capacity should be associated with such vile and vicious crimes,” the Secretary-General said in his message as the report was released.
The report said that action regarding 31 allegations reported between 2010 and 2015 and substantiated by investigations is pending with 20 member states.
Of these, action on one allegation of sexual exploitation or abuse in a case in 2013 is pending with India.
The report, however, did not give details of the case.
Outlining the best practices taken by member states to address allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation, the report noted that India has informed the Secretariat it had appointed a focal point to handle future paternity claims related to sexual exploitation and abuse.
In addition, India designated the ministry of women and child development to give assistance in paternity cases and shared the applicable legal framework governing paternity claims with the Secretariat.
In 2015, the UN report had said Indian peacekeepers faced allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse in three separate cases between 2010 and 2013.
The UN chief’s latest report said the number of allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse recorded in 2016 increased to 103, from 69 allegations in 2015.
A high number of the allegations received can be attributed to UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).