UN received 54 sexual abuse allegations since beginning of 2018 | News | DW | 01.05.2018
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UN received 54 sexual abuse allegations since beginning of 2018

In the first three months of 2018, the United Nations logged 54 separate complaints of sexual abuse by staff and partner NGOs. Thirteen of the people who say they were assaulted are girls under the age of 18.

On Tuesday, the United Nations announced that it had received 54 allegations of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation in the first three months of 2018.

A total of 66 people have come forward with accounts of abuse by UN agency staff, UN peacekeepers and nongovernmental organizations implementing UN programs.

Read more'Faith in peacekeeping is being undermined'

The people who have come forward include 13 girls under the age of 18, as well as 16 victims whose ages are unknown, UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters.

A man carries a bag of flour distributed at a UN aid distribution center (Getty Images/AFP/)

Some of the sex abuse allegations concerned partner NGOs who implement UN programs

Haq said "combating this scourge, and helping and empowering those who have been scarred by these egregious acts, continue to be key priorities" for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

So far, two of the accounts have been substantiated, but Haq did not provide details on what action was taken. The results of another investigation are under review, while another two cases were dismissed.

Read moreUN votes to tackle sex abuse by peacekeepers

UN sex abuse

Out of the cases logged so far this year, 21 concerned partner organizations, 18 involved staff at UN agencies and programs, and 14 concerned UN peacekeeping missions. One of the cases concerned a member of a non-UN international force, Haq said.

The abuse cases concern UN staff accused of exploiting and abusing people seeking UN assistance on the ground.

Read moreUN names first victims' rights official to combat sexual abuse by soldiers

In recent years, the UN's peacekeeping missions in particular have come under scrutiny following widespread accusations of rape, sexual assault and transactional sex.

A battalion of UN peacekeepers from Congo were sent home from the Central African Republic last year following numerous accusations of sexual abuse.

After criticism over the UN's handling of the abuse allegations, Guterres appointed a victims' rights advocate.

rs/cmk (AP, dpa)

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