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UNICEF deputy director resigns after complaints of inappropriate behaviour

The complaints against Justin Forsyth were from his time at Save the Children, where three workers said he had sent inappropriate texts and commented on what young female staff were wearing.

world Updated: Feb 23, 2018 09:51 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, United Nations
UNICEF,Justin Forsyth,Save The Children
Justin Forsyth, when he was chief executive of Save the Children UK, at a camp in Hodan district of Somalia's capital Mogadishu, November 21, 2012. (Reuters File Photo)

UNICEF deputy director Justin Forsyth has resigned following complaints of inappropriate behaviour towards female staff in his previous post as head of British charity Save The Children, the children’s agency said today.

”Executive Director Henrietta Fore today accepted Justin Forsyth’s resignation from his position as Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF,” said a UNICEF statement.

“We are grateful to Mr Forsyth for his work over the past two years to advocate for the most vulnerable children and help advance UNICEF’s mission to save children’s lives. This mission is now more important than ever,” it added.

Forsyth joined UNICEF in 2016 after leaving his post as chief executive officer of Save the Children, where he faced complaints from three workers who said he had sent inappropriate texts and commented on what young female staff were wearing.

UNICEF on Wednesday said it was unaware that Forsyth faced those complaints when he was recruited.

Forsyth had apologised to the three staff members for the incidents.

In the wake of the MeToo movement, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres this month announced a zero-tolerance policy on sexual harassment and vowed new stepped-up measures to address misconduct by staff at the world body.

A new helpline for UN staff will be set up and UN-wide rules put in place to ensure that claims are addressed in the same manner throughout the organization.

The complaints at Save The Children follow revelations that Oxfam was investigating 26 cases of sexual misconduct since a crisis erupted over its handling of a scandal involving prostitution in Haiti.

Three of Oxfam’s senior leaders have apologized for the charity’s handling of an internal investigation into the use of prostitutes by staff in Haiti following the devastating 2010 earthquake.

First Published: Feb 23, 2018 09:51 IST