21 cases of sexual abuse during UN missions in 2nd quarter

Out of these 21 cases, 8 charges concern minors, Departments of Peacekeeping Operations and Field Support at the UN have said. In the first three months of 2010, 24 such allegations were made, in which 10 accusations involved minors.

"Overall, the number of allegations during the first half of this year is roughly the same as that of the first half of 2009," UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky said.
Last week, an Indian peacekeeper was identified as one of the two men accused of sexual misconduct in the peacekeeping mission in Democratic Republic of Congo.

Office of Internal Oversight Services is still investigating the accusations and further details in the case are awaited, however, on the completion of the investigation the matter will probably be referred to the national authorities for taking actions, if needed.
A spate of sexual harassment charges in DRC led the UN to adopt a "zero tolerance" policy in 2005 to guard against such incidents.

"The UN employs around 120 staff members in the field that address conduct and discipline in 14 teams covering 19 peacekeeping and special political missions," Nesirky said.
"They handle more than 1,000 allegations per year for all types of misconduct and for all categories of UN personnel –civilian, military and police," he added.

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