Panel to review UN response to child sexual abuse allegations in CAR

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Stéphane Dujarric. UN File Photo

A panel has been established to investigate the UN's response to allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse of children by foreign military forces in the Central African Republic.

While the troops were not under UN command, the panel will receive unrestricted access to all United Nations records and full access to staff and other personnel.

The panel will begin work in July and aim to submit its report within 10 weeks.

Dianne Penn reports.

The appointment of the three-member panel was announced on Monday by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

The panel will work independently and its report will be made public, subject to due process and confidentiality considerations.

Stephane Dujarric is spokesperson for the UN chief.

"The panel will review the United Nations' response to the allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse of children by foreign military forces not under UN command and assess the adequacy of the procedures in place. This will include any allegations of abuse of authority or retaliation by senior officials. The panel will also look at any shortcomings in existing procedures covering serious crimes by United Nations and related personnel, host State forces and non-State actors that it may become aware of during the review."

The panel will be chaired by Marie Deschamps, a former Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.

The other members are Hassan Jallow, Prosecutor at the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and Yasmin Sooka, Executive Director of the Foundation for Human Rights in South Africa.

The panel will also make recommendations on how the UN should respond to similar allegations in the future and on any shortcomings in existing procedures. 

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’21″

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