News Articles

Guterres vows to improve UN’s handling of sexual exploitation and abuse

15 March 2022 - Secretary-General António Guterres released his annual update on the Organization’s efforts to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) on Tuesday, dovetailing with his system-wide strategy – launched in 2017 - to stamp out incidents by placing victims at the heart of efforts, throughout the system.

UN steps up action on sexual misconduct in wake of CAR allegations

13 December 2021 - The UN continues to take steps to address allegations of sexual misconduct by peacekeepers in the Central African Republic (CAR) in the wake of the repatriation of Gabonese troops three months ago.

UN sends Gabon peacekeepers home from Central African Republic, following abuse allegations

15 September 2021 - The United Nations announced on Wednesday that all Gabonese military units deployed to the peacekeeping force in the Central African Republic, MINUSCA, are to be sent home immediately, following credible reports alleging that unidentified ‘blue helmets’ had abused five girls.

Despite pandemic, UN continues to fight ‘scourge’ of sexual exploitation abuse

19 March 2021 - UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Friday, released his annual update on how the Organization is working to stamp out the “scourge” of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) through its zero-tolerance policy, which required special measures this year in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Restoring dignity to victims of sexual abuse and exploitation by UN personnel

6 July 2020 - Projects supported by a UN trust fund for victims of sexual exploitation and abuse by UN personnel, are helping victims to regain their dignity, learn new skills, and improve their livelihoods.

UN probes ‘abhorrent’ video showing ‘likely’ field staffers engaging in alleged sexual misconduct

26 June 2020 - The UN has launched an investigation into a video which surfaced on social media this week showing a clearly marked UN vehicle on a busy city street, while a woman straddles a man on the back seat engaging in a sex act, with others sitting inside.

RC: MONUSCO explains its policy against sexual exploitation and abuse to civil society organizations in Kananga

19 March 2020 - The United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) organized an awareness-raising session on March 12 to combat sexual exploitation and abuse perpetrated by United Nations personnel. Altogether thirty-three (33) attendees, including 13 women from civil society organizations in Kananga, Kasai, took part in the awareness-raising session.

More support needed for victims of sexual abuse by UN personnel

13 March 2020 - Although measures to support victims of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) committed by UN personnel are proving effective, there is still room to do more, the senior official leading these efforts told journalists in New York on Friday.

UN supporting abandoned Haiti mothers and children, urging others to come forward

13 March 2020 - The UN’s Victims’ Rights Advocate who champions the rights and dignity of victims of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA), has urged more women to come forward in Haiti, if they have paternity claims against UN personnel serving in former peacekeeping missions there.

U.N. is committed to addressing its peacekeepers’ sexual abuse of women in Haiti | Opinion

22 January 2020 - A recent report on the children fathered by U.N. peacekeepers in Haiti is deeply disturbing. So let us be clear: Sexual exploitation and abuse by U.N. personnel is unacceptable, and we are fully committed to the Secretary-General’s zero-tolerance policy. 
(Op-Ed by Catherine Pollard, U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance, and Jean-Pierre Lacroix, U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, first published in the Miami Herald on 21st January 2020.)

Women in Yambio speak out against sexual exploitation and abuse

11 December 2019 - Women in Yambio are calling for justice against the perpetrators of sexual exploitation and abuse, saying they bear the biggest burden of sexual crimes. The one-day awareness campaign was organized by the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) in partnership with the Community-Based Complaint Mechanism (CBCM), a body tasked to help victims of sexual exploitation and abuse in the county.

Nation-wide educational campaign to tackle sexual exploitation and abuse

3 December 2019 - That children continue to fall victim to sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) is a grim fact that carries serious consequences. MINUSCA therefore launched its “Educational Talks” campaign on the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse at the historical Koudoukou public school in the PK5 area of Bangui’s 3rd district, on 3 December 2019.

Twelve MONUSCO military focal points trained in the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse in Bunia

30 October 2019 - The Training and Refresher Seminar for Military Focal Points of MONUSCO Force, which opened on Tuesday, October 29, ended last Wednesday.

Righting a wrong: UN Fund helps thousands of sex abuse survivors rebuild their lives

21 June 2019 - The Trust Fund in Support of Victims of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse Fund is one of the many initiatives set up by the United Nations over recent years to address the scourge internally. The purpose of the Fund is to finance assistance for survivors and children born of sexual exploitation and abuse by UN personnel.

The UN's unyielding effort to tackle sexual abuse and exploitation: our quarterly update

30 May 2019 - In the first quarter of 2019, according to latest figures released on Thursday, the United Nations recorded a total of 37 allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) against UN personnel, including civilian and uniformed personnel from peacekeeping operations, agencies, funds and programmes. So far, most of these allegations remain under investigation.

Haiti: A theatre project to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse

22 March 2019 - As part of the United Nations effort to prevent and eliminate sexual exploitation and abuse by its staff, the UN Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH) and the UN agencies in the country have organized a theatre experience in the capital Port-au-Prince and major provincial towns. This awareness-raising project aims to inform the local population of ways to prevent cases of sexual exploitation and abuse and on the various complaint mechanisms that exist in the UN system. The theatre experience, also known as “Theatre of the Oppressed” (Théâtre de l’opprimé) is an interactive exercise which allows spectators to come on stage to offer solutions to discussed issues.

Fight against sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA): the paying strategy (monthly information bulletin of MONUSCO) [PDF]

December 2018 - Long denounced by all, including senior United Nations officials, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse is one of the wrong notes, annihilating the efforts of personnel in Peacekeeping Missions. Thus, at the strategic level, the hierarchy of the Police Component has put in place mechanisms and procedures, including several SEA Guidelines and measures to prevent, if not repress, and better eradicate them.

In the Kivus, victims and survivors of sexual exploitation and abuse take their destiny in hand

18 December 2018 - As part of the UN System's efforts to end sexual exploitation and abuse by UN personnel, victims are at the heart of the response in the field. As a result, community-based complaint reception mechanisms (CBCMs) were set-up within communities with attention to cultural and gender sensitiveness in order to maximize their effectiveness.

UN Volunteers across South Sudan make a pledge for Zero Tolerance for Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA) in the first country wide campaign

10 December 2018 - In line with the UN Secretary General’s call to declare with one voice that nobody will be tolerated for committing or condoning sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA), United Nations Volunteers (UNVs) across South Sudan pledged to make Zero Tolerance a Reality. On 6 December, over 500 UNVs working in both the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and UN Agencies, Funds, and Programmes, serving in Juba and across 18 various field locations, spread key messages about preventing Sexual Exploitation and Abuse.

A nationwide campaign to end sexual exploitation and abuse in South Sudan

7 December 2018 - A nationwide campaign to end sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) has taken place across South Sudan. During the 16 Days of Activism – an annual global campaign between 25 November and 10 December aiming to reinforce efforts to end gender-based violence – 6 December 2018 was designated by the Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) Task Force in South Sudan as a Stand Down Day, dedicated to the issue of SEA.

UN recorded 64 new allegations of sexual exploitation or abuse in the past three months

5 November 2018 - Across its various offices, agencies, and partner organisations implementing its programmes, the United Nations received 64 new allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA), involving 77 victims, between July and September, UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said on Monday.

‘Many challenges to overcome’ at UN, in fight against abuse: victims’ advocate

22 October 2018 - The UN is committed to recognizing the rights of victims of sexual exploitation by UN personnel but, when it comes to preventing and responding to abuse, there is a still “a long way to go, and many challenges to overcome,” says the UN’s first-ever Victims’ Rights Advocate Jane Connors.

World leaders commit to continue UN fight against sexual exploitation and abuse

27 September 2018 - World leaders joined with United Nations entities on Thursday to reaffirm their continued personal commitment to support efforts to combat sexual exploitation and abuse across the Organization.

Upholding Our Values: Putting Victims at the Centre

UN Chronicle Vol. LV No. 2, August 2018 – Assistant Secretary-General Jane Connors speaks of her role as Victims’ Rights Advocate. As the VRA, she seeks to ensure the rights and dignity of victims are at the forefront of United Nations efforts to address sexual exploitation and abuse.

Ensuring That Survivors of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence Are Not Left Behind in the Sustainable Development Agenda

UN Chronicle Vol. LV No. 2, August 2018 – The United Nations General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in September 2015. The inclusion of the goal on gender equality, particularly its target 5.2, gives renewed impetus to ending all forms of violence against women and girls “in public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation”.

UN receives 70 new allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse in three months

30 July 2018 – The United Nations received 70 new allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse across all its entities and implementing partners, between the beginning of April to the end of June this year, UN Deputy Spokesperson, Farhan Haq, announced on Monday, with 18 cases involving peacekeeping operations, and 25 from agencies, funds and programmes.

INTERVIEW: Head of Peacekeeping on fighting sexual exploitation and abuse

26 July 2018 – In a recent interview with UN News, Under Secretary-General Jean-Pierre Lacroix talked about sexual exploitation and abuse in UN Peacekeeping and what is being done to tackle the issue.

MONUSCO launches projects to assist victims of sexual exploitation and abuse

11 May 2018 – The United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) inaugurated in May in Sake, 27 km west of Goma (North Kivu), several projects in support of victims of sexual exploitation and abuse by UN and related personnel.

Combating ‘scourge’ of sexual abuse allegations remains ‘key’ UN priority, as 54 new allegations emerge

1 May 2018 – More than 50 allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse involving personnel serving with the United Nations and its partners in the field were received in the first three months of this year, the global organization said on Tuesday.

Report highlights UN progress in fight to stamp out sexual exploitation and abuse

13 March 2018 – The number of allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse committed by personnel serving with the United Nations dropped from 165 in 2016 to 138 last year, according to the latest report by the UN Secretary-General on implementing a zero-tolerance policy for these crimes.

UN receives 40 allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse in last quarter of 2017

22 February 2018 – The United Nations has received 40 allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse across its entities and implementing partners for the last three months of 2017, including 15 reported from peacekeeping operations, UN Spokesman Stéphane Dujarric announced on Thursday.

‘Zero tolerance’ for sexual exploitation and abuse by UN staff in South Sudan, underscores senior official

7 December 2017 – The relationship between United Nations peacekeepers and civilian staff and the vulnerable people in South Sudan they are working for must be one of mutual trust and confidence, said a senior UN official, noting that instances of sexual exploitation and abuse by UN personnel not only breaks down that relationship, it also destroys the trust communities have in the Organization.

UN advocate vows to give 'visibility' to victims of sexual exploitation and abuse

3 November 2017 – Briefing the press at United Nations Headquarters in New York for the first time, the first-ever UN advocate for the rights of victims of sexual exploitation and abuse on Friday highlighted her role to give those who have suffered “visibility” and amplify their voices.

UN chief announces trip to Central African Republic, where crisis is 'far from media spotlight'

18 October 2017 – Speaking to the press at United Nations Headquarters, in New York, Secretary-General António Guterres announced that he will be travelling to the Central African Republic early next week to draw attention to the fragile situation in the country “that is often far from the media spotlight.”

New allegation of sexual abuse surfaces at UN mission in Central African Republic

11 October 2017 – United Nations Spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said Wednesday that the UN Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) reported it had received an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor that took place in Bambari by UN peacekeepers.

In less than two weeks, 72 States sign UN voluntary compact on preventing sexual exploitation and abuse

29 September – More than 90 United Nations Member States have signed or intend to sign the voluntary compact on preventing and addressing sexual exploitation and abuse, answering the call of Secretary-General António Guterres to address the scourge.

World leaders pledge to eliminate sexual exploitation and abuse; UN chief outlines course of action

18 September 2017 – United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today called on the world to stand in solidarity to condemn sexual exploitation and abuse as he detailed the key initiatives at the heart of his victim-centred approach to address the scourge across the UN system.

More than 128 countries back pledged reforms to shape ‘21st century UN’

18 September 2017 – Pledging to overhaul the United Nations bureaucracy to make the world body stronger and more responsive to the people it serves, Secretary-General António Guterres today launched a pledge of support for reforms that has the backing of 128 countries.

Use political weight to eliminate sexual exploitation and abuse, UN official urges global leaders

17 September 2017 – Ahead of a high-level United Nations meeting on preventing sexual exploitation and abuse, the Organization's Special Coordinator on the issue is urging global leaders to join the “Circle of Leadership,” lend the political weight of their offices, and act – both at the national and international levels – to eradicate the scourge.

Peacebuilding efforts needed to tackle Boko Haram, end Lake Chad Basin crisis, Security Council told

13 September 2017 – While the efforts of the Governments in Africa's Lake Chad Basin have diminished Boko Haram's combat capacity in the region, the terrorist group has changed its tactics, increasing the use of suicide attacks, the top United Nations political official reported to the Security Council today.

Australian Jane Connors appointed first UN rights advocate for victims of sexual exploitation

23 August 2017 – Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed Jane Connors, Australian law professional and long-time human rights advocate, as the first United Nations advocate for the rights of victims of sexual exploitation and abuse.

Strong partnership between UN and Member States vital to end sexual exploitation and abuse

14 July 2017 – Senior United Nations officials on Thursday underscored the importance of a strong partnership between the Organization and Member States in moving forward with efforts to prevent and address sexual exploitation and abuse.

Strengthening UN peacekeeping tops agenda as chiefs of defence meet in New York

7 July 2017 – In the ongoing effort to improve the overall performance of United Nations peacekeeping missions, the heads of the armed forces of around 100 countries met at UN Headquarters in New York today to discuss issues such as rapid deployment, training, increasing the number of female peacekeepers, and conduct and discipline.

Former UN envoy urges continued vigilance in fight against sexual exploitation and abuse

5 July 2017 – While a number of steps have been taken to address the scourge of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA), the former deputy head of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic (CAR) has urged continued vigilance to ensure that the world body’s personnel do no harm while carrying out their duties.

With 'blue helmets' in harm's way every day, peacekeeping reforms and resources needed – UN chief

29 May 2017 – Marking International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, Secretary-General António Guterres today said that peacekeeping must have the tools and rules it needs to adapt to the dangerous and challenging environments they face.

INTERVIEW: ‘Our peacekeepers are saving lives every day’ – new UN peacekeeping chief

22 May 2017 – With United Nations peace operations being carried out in highly complex environments and facing multiple challenges, Secretary-General António Guterres recently stressed the need to adapt peacekeeping to “our changing world.” It is in this context that Jean-Pierre Lacroix took up his post as the new Under-Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations at the beginning of April. The French national, who has more than 25 years of political and diplomatic experience, currently oversees 16 UN peacekeeping operations deployed on four continents.

Strengthening the UN Response to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse

6 April 2017 – Following his analysis of the report of the High-Level External Independent Review Panel on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by International Peacekeeping Forces in the Central African Republic, former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Jane Holl Lute of the United States as Special Coordinator on improving the Organization’s response to sexual exploitation and abuse, in February 2016.

Central African Republic: Security Council pledges support for President’s efforts to stabilize country

4 April 2017 – The United Nations Security Council today expressed its support for the efforts of President Faustin Archange Touadera of the Central African Republic (CAR) to restore State authority as well as for the African Union-led mediation initiative to find a political solution to the situation in the crisis-torn country.

INTERVIEW: Fast-response ‘vanguard brigade’ of peacekeepers now a reality

4 April 2017 – A “vanguard brigade” of UN Peacekeepers which can be deployed within 60 days to new trouble-spots, would have been “impossible” to envisage just two years ago.

DR Congo: Security Council extends peacekeeping mandate, but reduces troop strength

31 March 2017 – The Security Council today extended the mandate of the United Nations mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) for another year but reduced the number of troops.

Outgoing UN peacekeeping chief praises reduced cost of operations, as agility increases

24 March 2017 – United Nations peacekeeping is becoming more agile and capable, the outgoing chief today said, even as the cost for each peacekeeper fell 16 per cent in recent years, dropping the entire budget of the blue helmets worldwide to around $7.2 billion.

UN announces new approach to 'stamp out' sexual exploitation and abuse

9 March 2017 – Underscoring that the United Nations should not be, in any way, associated with the vile and vicious crimes of rape, sexual violence, exploitation and abuse, Secretary-General António Guterres has outlined a new victim-centred approach to prevent and respond to such abuses committed by those serving under the UN flag.

Security Council approves six-month extension of UN peacekeeping mission in Cyprus

26 January 2017 – Welcoming the progress thus far in negotiations led by Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot leaders, as well as ongoing efforts, the United Nations Security Council today encouraged the sides to “grasp the current opportunity with determination” to secure a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus.

More than 90 per cent of children reaching Italy’s shores are separated or unaccompanied – UNICEF

13 January 2017 – Noting that the number of children arriving in Italy by themselves via the sea in 2016 more than doubled over the previous year, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) today called for urgent and special measures to protect them from trafficking, exploitation and abuse.

New task force to develop strategy to strengthen UN response to sexual exploitation and abuse

6 January 2017 – The United Nations today announced that it plans to strengthen its approach to preventing and responding to sexual exploitation and abuse by creating a high-level task force that will develop a “clear, game-changing strategy” to achieve “visible and measurable further improvement.”

‘We have an agenda before us’ – UN officials reiterate need for measures against sexual abuse

13 May 2016 – Briefing the General Assembly on the challenges being faced and progress being made to end the exploitation and abuse by United Nations peacekeepers, senior UN officials today indicated that immediate concerns have been focused on providing protection and support to the victims, and reiterated the need for collective efforts to put stronger measures in place to ensure prevention and greater accountability.

Ban says he holds all senior UN officials responsible for addressing sexual exploitation or abuse

18 March 2016 – Speaking with senior United Nations officials who are preparing to be deployed to field missions, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today said he holds them all responsible for helping to address sexual exploitation or abuse, and for helping to create a 'zero-tolerance' culture.

‘We must not allow protectors to become predators’ – UN field support chief

4 March 2016 – With 99 allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse uncovered by the United Nations in 2015 – 69 of these in countries where peacekeeping operations are deployed – the Organization is today presenting its latest report on special measures to protect people from these crimes.

Seasoned official appointed to coordinate UN efforts to curb sexual abuse by peacekeepers

8 February 2016 – Facing a series of allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today named Jane Holl Lute, an American official with wide-ranging United Nations experience, to coordinate efforts to curb the scourge.

Fresh allegations of sexual abuse made against UN peacekeepers in Central African Republic

5 January 2016 – The United Nations is investigating new allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse and other misconduct by peacekeepers in the Central African Republic (CAR), this time by forces under the world body’s flag, the top UN official there said today, as further steps are being put in place to combat the scourge.

Ban vows to act quickly after report finds UN failed to respond ‘meaningfully’ to Central African Republic abuse allegations

17 December 2015 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today pledged to urgently review the recommendations made by an independent panel that found that the United Nations did not act with the “speed, care or sensitivity required,” when it uncovered information about crimes committed against children by soldiers – not under UN command – sent to the Central African Republic (CAR) to protect civilians.