Prosecutions in UN sex abuse cases underway

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Atul Khare. UN Photo/Mark Garten

The criminal prosecution of peacekeepers accused of sex abuse is underway a number of countries, a senior UN official has confirmed.

Member States heard a briefing on the progress and challenges encountered in stamping out Sexual Abuse and Exploitation (SEA) by UN personnel.

A series of special measures aimed attending impunity for sex crimes by UN troops serving in peace mission was adopted by the Security Council in March.

Jocelyne Sambira has the details.

Egypt, a troop-contributing country for the UN, demonstrated the "swiftest example of justice" in trying soldiers accused of sexual abuse.

That's according to the Under-Secretary-General of the Department for Field Support Atul Khare.

The authority to sanction or criminally prosecute military and police troops deployed to peace missions is under the exclusive jurisdiction of Member States.

After conducting a 29-day investigation of the allegations, the authorities found the allegations of attempted sexual assault substantiated.

They then conducted a court martial and imposed a sanction of five years imprisonment, apart from a dismissal of service.

Egypt is not alone, said Mr Khare.

After a 3 month probe, Bangladesh was able to try one of its soldiers for allegedly having sex with a minor. The subject was dismissed from service and received a sanction of one year.

This demonstrates the seriousness with which the Member States take their responsibility, Atul Khare added, sharing another story about South Africa.

"This year the Republic of South Africa undertook court martial proceedings against members of its contingent deployed to MONUSCO in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This decision permitted the victims, and the affected communities in the DRC, to see justice at work."

Progress has also been made, he noted, in facilitating paternity and child support claims against peacekeepers.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1'27''

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