WHO / SEXUAL EXPLOITATION AND ABUSE REPORT

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28-Sep-2021 00:04:05
Speaking on the Independent Commission's report about allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse during an Ebola response in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, WHO’s chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that what happened to the victims and survivors “should never happen to anyone. It’s inexcusable. It is my top priority to ensure that the perpetrators are not excused, but are held to account." WHO

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STORY: WHO / SEXUAL EXPLOITATION AND ABUSE REPORT
TRT: 4:05
SOURCE: WHO
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 28 SEPTEMBER 2021, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST:

1. Wide shot, press briefing room
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
"As you know, in October last year, I appointed an Independent Commission to investigate allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse during the response to the tenth the Ebola Virus Disease epidemic in North Kivu and Ituri, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo."
3. Wide shot, press briefing room
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
"The first thing I want to say is to the victims and survivors of the sexual exploitation and abuse described in the commission’s report. I’m sorry. I’m sorry for what was done to you by people who were employed by WHO to serve and protect you. I’m sorry for the ongoing suffering that these events must cause. I’m sorry that you have had to relive them in talking to the commission about your experiences. Thank you for your courage in doing so. What happened to you should never happen to anyone. It’s inexcusable. It is my top priority to ensure that the perpetrators are not excused, but are held to account."
5. Wide shot, press briefing room
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
"The commission has done outstanding work to get the voices of victims and survivors heard. But the investigation is not complete, and will require further work. But we must act immediately, and we will, in three areas: First, support, protection and justice for the victims and survivors; Second, actions to address management and staff failures; And third, wholesale reform of our structures and culture."
7. Wide shot, press briefing room
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
"I struggle to find the words to describe my feelings when I first read the commission’s report. The conduct it describes is a sickening betrayal of the people we serve. But it’s also a betrayal of our colleagues who put themselves in harm’s way to serve others, including those who paid the ultimate price, killed by armed groups while working to protect the health of vulnerable communities."
9. Wide shot, press briefing room
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
"We will hold all leaders accountable for inaction in any suspected incident of sexual exploitation and abuse. We are acutely conscious that we need to rebuild trust with the people we serve, with our Member States, with our partners and with our workforce."
11. Wide shot, press briefing room
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa:
"We are indeed humbled, horrified and heartbroken by the findings of this inquiry. I'd like also to thank all the women and girls who have come forward and given evidence to the investigation and thus have given us the basis on which to take action in WHO, which has been necessary."
13. Wide shot, press briefing room

STORYLINE:

Speaking on the Independent Commission report about allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse during an Ebola response in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, WHO’s chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that what happened to the victims and survivors “should never happen to anyone. It’s inexcusable. It is my top priority to ensure that the perpetrators are not excused, but are held to account."

Briefing reporters in Geneva today (28 Sep), Tedros said, "the commission has done outstanding work to get the voices of victims and survivors heard. But the investigation is not complete, and will require further work.” He continued, “but we must act immediately, and we will, in three areas: First, support, protection and justice for the victims and survivors; Second, actions to address management and staff failures; And third, wholesale reform of our structures and culture."

The WHO’s chief also said, "I struggle to find the words to describe my feelings when I first read the commission’s report. The conduct it describes is a sickening betrayal of the people we serve. But it’s also a betrayal of our colleagues who put themselves in harm’s way to serve others, including those who paid the ultimate price, killed by armed groups while working to protect the health of vulnerable communities." He reiterated, "we will hold all leaders accountable for inaction in any suspected incident of sexual exploitation and abuse. We are acutely conscious that we need to rebuild trust with the people we serve, with our Member States, with our partners and with our workforce."

Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s Regional Director for Africa also spoke to reporters. She said, "we are indeed humbled, horrified and heartbroken by the findings of this inquiry. I'd like also to thank all the women and girls who have come forward and given evidence to the investigation and thus have given us the basis on which to take action in WHO, which has been necessary."

The Final Report of the Independent Commission on the review of sexual abuse and exploitation during the response to the 10th Ebola virus disease epidemic in DRC, was produced by the Independent Commission on Allegations of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse during the Response to the 10th Ebola Outbreak in DRC. The views and conclusions presented in the report are those of the Independent Commission and they have not been verified or vetted by WHO.
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