Annual Reports of the Victims' Rights Advocate
It has been five years since the Secretary-General pledged to put the rights and dignity of victims at the centre of our efforts to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation and abuse by United Nations staff and related personnel. This report highlights the progress made by the Victims’ Rights Advocate in integrating a system-wide victims’ rights approach, and details the achievements of the Office and the field advocates. The Victims’ Rights Advocate is committed to increasing the number of advocates in the field, and will continue to champion the appointment dedicated full time Senior Victims’ Rights Officers, wherever they are needed, or, if that is not possible, the appointment of focal points for victims’ rights.
In 2020, a year marked by challenges, the Office of the Victims’ Rights Advocate strengthened policy, advocacy and work on the ground to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation and abuse by United Nations staff and related personnel. This report sets out the activities and achievements of the Victims’ Rights Advocate and Advocates in the field in 2020, the challenges that remain, and a roadmap of activities for the year ahead.
In the time since the Office of the Victims’ Rights Advocate became fully operational, it has engaged in many activities to deliver on the Secretary-General’s pledge to put victims at the centre of all United Nations efforts to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation and abuse by its personnel. Concrete results for victims of these wrongs, as outlined in this report, were achieved in 2019, but much more must be done to ensure that appropriate resources for victim protection and assistance are available.
In 2018, the Victims’ Rights Advocate prioritized advocacy, engagement and consultations with Member States, United Nations system, intergovernmental and regional organizations, civil society, and other stakeholders, in the field and other locations, to gather their perspectives on issues related to victims’ rights and assistance and ensure that a victim-centred approach is institutionalized and integrated in all United Nations’ activities to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation and abuse.