Cases of sexual abuse in CAR "taken extremely seriously" by UN

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Diane Corner, Deputy Head of MINUSCA. UN Photo/Dany Balepe

Sexual exploitation committed by UN personnel in the Central African Republic (CAR) is a problem that leaders of the United Nations' mission there, MINUSCA, are taking extremely seriously.

That's according to the Deputy Head of MINUSCA, Diane Corner, who briefed the media at UN Headquarters on Thursday via video conference.

She said in total, the mission recorded 13 cases of sexual abuse allegedly involving uniformed personnel of MINUSCA since 15 September 2014.

Of these cases, nine involve alleged attacks on minors.

Stephanie Coutrix reports.

Diane Corner said sexual exploitation and abuse, or SEA, is a serious problem, one which MINUSCA is utterly determined to stamp out.

And the sharp rise in reported cases during the last three months is of concern, she added.

But Ms Corner highlighted that this increase is in part due to the rollout across the Central African Republic of MINUSCA's field offices, making it easier for people to come forth with the cases.

She explained there are now 11 offices covering all regions of the country, staffed by civil affairs, human rights, child and women protection officers.

"Some of the SEA cases have been reported to the mission by local journalists, by local NGOs and in some cases the families involved. This shows a level of trust on the part of the population in MINUSCA personnel. We are seeking to do all we can to build this level of trust, by providing an account of our actions."

The Deputy Head of the mission added that significant efforts are being devoted to prevent cases of sexual abuse.

MINUSCA is currently the fourth largest UN peace operation in the world, with over 10,800 uniformed personnel and some 600 international civilian staff.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration: 1’22″

 

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