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Title Title
UN UN
Summary Summary
Highlights Highlights
Content Content
<strong>The United Nations (UN) is on a mission to stamp out sexual abuse and exploitation by its peacekeepers, aid workers and everyone else in the organisation who claim to be trying to do good while exploiting the people they are supposed to help.</strong>  
  <strong>The United Nations is on a mission to stamp out sexual abuse and exploitation by its peacekeepers, aid workers and everyone else in the organisation who might be expected to be trying to do good while actually harming the people they are supposed to help. Getting all member states to agree to a new code to prevent that abuse is easier said than done.</strong>
According to internal documents seen by <em>WikiTribune</em>, the UN is over a fifth of the way through a massive effort <a href="https://undocs.org/A/71/818">launched in February last year</a> by Secretary General Antonio Guterres to get the support of member states and his own organisation and transform the UN's approach to sexual violence and misbehaviour after decades of scandals, ranging from sex-trafficking to rape and prostitution in some of the most troubled countries in the world.  According to documents seen by <em>WikiTribune</em>, the UN is about a fifth of the way through a project Secretary General Antonio Guterres <a href="https://undocs.org/A/71/818">launched in February last year</a>  to get the support of member states and his staff to transform the UN's approach to sexual violence and misbehavior after decades of scandals. Sex-trafficking, rape, child sex and prostitution in some of the most troubled countries in the world have dogged peacekeeping missions and aid projects - tarnishing the reputation of the blue helmets.
  The UN's project -- and the problems -- are far greater in scope than the kind of incidents that have damaged the reputation of <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-43121833">British charity Oxfam.</a> It's accused of covering up allegations employees paid for sex and exploited local women in Haiti after a 2010 earthquake. Oxfam, which risks losing tens of millions of pounds in government funding, <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-43004360">denies a cover-up</a> but has <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2018/02/20/world/europe/ap-eu-britain-oxfam.html">apologized for its handling of the scandal</a> (<em><a href="https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2018/02/20/world/europe/ap-eu-britain-oxfam.html">Associated Press</a></em>). The Oxfam scandal has focused attention on the conduct of those we send to deliver aid.
  <span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 1.6rem;">"</span><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 1.6rem;">I fully recognize that no magic wand exists to end the problem of sexual exploitation and abuse. Nevertheless, </span><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 1.6rem;">I believe that we can dramatically improve how the United Nations addresses this problem," Guterres said when he launched the scheme which at its most fundamental, he said, was about gender inequality in the world at large not just in his organization.</span>
  The scale of the problem facing the United Nations in diplomatic and practical terms is immense. Guterres wants agreement from 193 countries on attitudes to women and the behavior of men that are foreign to many of them and certainly not covered by the military codes of many of the countries -- both developed and emerging -- that provide the peacekeeping troops for UN missions.
<em>"Meaningful implementation is more than just checking a box," </em>said a senior UN official<em>. "These initiatives must be converted into reality."</em> The official said that having more than one measure a month completed since February 2017 was a "pretty good rate" of progress for such a big and bureaucratic organization. <span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 1.6rem;">Peacekeepers remain under the command of their own military and are subject to the laws of their own country, rather than to those of the UN or the country they are sent to patrol. So while the UN may demand respect for women and locals, the soldiers military code may be less scrupulous.</span>
The UN's project on sexual misconduct goes further than the kind of deeds that have damaged the reputation of <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-43121833">British charity Oxfam</a>, which stands accused of covering up the details of a 2011 internal report into allegations that some of its employees paid for sex and engaged in exploitative and abusive behaviour while delivering aid to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake that devastated the country. Oxfam, which risks losing tens of millions of pounds in government funding, <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-43004360">denies a cover-up</a> but <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2018/02/20/world/europe/ap-eu-britain-oxfam.html">apologized for its handling of the scandal</a> (<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2018/02/20/world/europe/ap-eu-britain-oxfam.html">NYT via Associated Press</a>).   
  "It is about being realistic. These soldiers are boys. What is the best we can do in the situations we find ourselves in," said one UN official aware of the discussions led by Guterres and his personal commitment to them as a former High Commissioner for Refugees. "What's the best we can do when we're sending in a 20-year old Fijian boy or a young Indonesian soldier? If Oxfam can't deal with mature aid workers what hope to we have? What is the best we can do?"
  &nbsp;
  <h2>How big is the problem?</h2>
In 2016, 145 allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse involving 311 victims – mostly women and girls – were brought against uniformed and civilian UN personnel (<a href="https://undocs.org/A/71/818">UN</a>). But the report said: "We feel certain that not all cases are reported." In 2016, 145 allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse involving 311 victims – mostly women and girls – were brought against uniformed and civilian UN personnel (<a href="https://undocs.org/A/71/818">UN</a>). But the report said: "We feel certain that not all cases are reported."
  Consolidate the history here
  <h2>How is Guterres getting on</h2>
  Describe what his process is doing since he launched it in February please.
<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ant%C3%B3nio_Guterres">Guterres</a>, who rose to the top job from being the High Commissioner for Refugees, has a difficult task ahead of him. Since August 2017, 87 member countries have signed a <a href="https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/sg/note-correspondents/2017-09-29/note-correspondents-voluntary-compact-preventing-and">voluntary agreement</a> proposed by the secretary general to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse. But Guterres must convince all 193 member states to sign onto the UN's transforming approach to sexual misbehavior despite their national attitudes and the codes of their military sometimes being far from the UN ideal.  Since August 2017, 87 member countries have signed a <a href="https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/sg/note-correspondents/2017-09-29/note-correspondents-voluntary-compact-preventing-and">voluntary agreement</a> proposed by the secretary general to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse. But Guterres must convince all 193 member states to sign onto the UN's transforming approach to sexual misbehavior despite their national attitudes and the codes of their military sometimes being far from the UN ideal.
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<div class="column"> <span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 1.6rem;">"We must acknowledge that unequal gender relations lie at the heart of sexual exploitation and abuse, and that the potential for this behaviour poses a threat to women and the vulnerable wherever they live or work," said Guterres in the February 2017 report. "I fully recognize that no magic wand exists to end the problem of sexual exploitation and abuse. Nevertheless, I believe that we can dramatically improve how the United Nations addresses this problem."</span></div>  <div class="column"> <span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 1.6rem;">"We must acknowledge that unequal gender relations lie at the heart of sexual exploitation and abuse, and that the potential for this behaviour poses a threat to women and the vulnerable wherever they live or work," said Guterres in the February 2017 report.</span></div>
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  <div class="column">The secretary general, alongside recently appointed <a href="https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/sg/personnel-appointments/2017-08-23/ms-jane-connors-australia-victims%E2%80%99-rights-advocate">Victims Rights Advocate</a> Jane Connors, started meeting victims of sexual exploitation and abuse late last year, according to the draft document.</div>
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A senior UN official told <em>WikiTribune</em> Guterres is personally involved in efforts to transform the organization's approach to these cases. The secretary general, alongside recently appointed <a href="https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/sg/personnel-appointments/2017-08-23/ms-jane-connors-australia-victims%E2%80%99-rights-advocate">Victims Rights Advocate</a> Jane Connors, started meeting victims of sexual exploitation and abuse late last year, according to the draft document.  
The UN's mission also goes to the center of what can be expected of young sexually-active military men sent in as peacekeepers to unfamiliar territories and cultures. Peacekeepers remain under the command of their own military and are subject to the laws of their own country, rather than to those of the UN or the country they are sent to patrol. So while the UN may demand respect for women and locals, their own military code may be far less scrupulous.  
<strong>[DPKO quote] "What's the best we can do when we're sending in a 20-year old Fijian boy or a young Indonesian soldier? If Oxfam can't deal with mature aid workers what hoe to se have? These are boys? What is the best we can do?"</strong>  
In recent years, this conflict has been behind cases of <a href="https://apnews.com/e6ebc331460345c5abd4f57d77f535c1">Haiti</a>, Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (<a href="http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2017/07/peacekeepers-rape-170730075455216.html"><em>Al Jazeera</em></a>). In recent years, this conflict has been behind cases of <a href="https://apnews.com/e6ebc331460345c5abd4f57d77f535c1">Haiti</a>, Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (<a href="http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2017/07/peacekeepers-rape-170730075455216.html"><em>Al Jazeera</em></a>).
The United Nations has not replied for comment at the time of publication. The United Nations has not replied for comment at the time of publication.
<h2>What the document says</h2> <h2>What the document says</h2>
The internal UN document shows the progress of 52 projects conceived as part of the secretary general’s plan “to improve the Organization’s system-wide approach to preventing and responding to sexual exploitation and abuse”, first detailed in a wide-ranging <a href="https://undocs.org/A/71/818">February 2017 report</a>. The draft document, dated December 22, 2017, shows that at least 15 initiatives have been completed. The internal UN document shows the progress of 52 projects conceived as part of the secretary general’s plan “to improve the Organization’s system-wide approach to preventing and responding to sexual exploitation and abuse”, first detailed in a wide-ranging <a href="https://undocs.org/A/71/818">February 2017 report</a>. The draft document, dated December 22, 2017, shows that at least 15 initiatives have been completed.
<p class="p1">A further 12 initiatives are listed as “ongoing”. These include a proposal for the Security Council to adopt a "Special Protocol on Preventing sexual exploitation and abuse as part of the mandate governing mission deployments". Another initiative to “[d]evelop capability to aggregate and analyse system-wide data associated with sexual exploitation and abuse - subject to funding" was labelled as "in progress".</p> <p class="p1">A further 12 initiatives are listed as “ongoing”. These include a proposal for the Security Council to adopt a "Special Protocol on Preventing sexual exploitation and abuse as part of the mandate governing mission deployments". Another initiative to “[d]evelop capability to aggregate and analyse system-wide data associated with sexual exploitation and abuse - subject to funding" was labelled as "in progress".</p>
<p class="p1">The list of proposals also suggests some of the organizational difficulties the UN will have in completing its huge mission. For example, a system-wide proposal to “Instruct sexual exploitation and abuse training to be mandatory, prior to deployment, for all categories of personnel, uniformed and civilian, at all levels” received confirmation from the United Nations Development Programme but was still waiting on the green light from the UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees, the Population Fund, and the Relief and Works Agency as of December 22, 2017.</p>  <p class="p1">The list of proposals also suggests some of the organizational difficulties the UN will have in completing its mission. For example, a system-wide proposal to “Instruct sexual exploitation and abuse training to be mandatory, prior to deployment, for all categories of personnel, uniformed and civilian, at all levels” received confirmation from the United Nations Development Programme but was still waiting on the green light from the UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees, the Population Fund, and the Relief and Works Agency as of December 22, 2017.</p>
<p class="p1">Another initiative to "[e]ngage a select group of legal experts, including external ones," aimed at improving "the efficiency of investigations, improve evidence collection mechanism [sic] in order to strengthen the prosecution" still needed confirmation from the Office of Internal Oversight Services. Consolidating the UN’s investigative capacities for sexual exploitation and abuse is a key part of Guterres’ four-part strategy that “may require a fundamental structural change” according to the February 2017 report.</p> <p class="p1">Another initiative to "[e]ngage a select group of legal experts, including external ones," aimed at improving "the efficiency of investigations, improve evidence collection mechanism [sic] in order to strengthen the prosecution" still needed confirmation from the Office of Internal Oversight Services. Consolidating the UN’s investigative capacities for sexual exploitation and abuse is a key part of Guterres’ four-part strategy that “may require a fundamental structural change” according to the February 2017 report.</p>
<h2>Other notable proposals</h2> <h2>Other notable proposals</h2>
<b>Completed</b> <b>Completed</b>
<ol> <ol>
<li>"Establish a Circle of Leadership, consisting of global leaders willing to make a visible commitment to end impunity for sexual exploitation and abuse." – As of October 27, 2017, <a href="https://www.un.org/preventing-sexual-exploitation-and-abuse/content/note-correspondents-press-release-high-level-meeting-prevention-sexual-exploitation-and">58 world leaders</a> had signed up to this proposal.</li>  <li>"Establish a Circle of Leadership, consisting of global leaders willing to make a visible commitment to end impunity for sexual exploitation and abuse." – As of October 27, 2017, <a href="https://www.un.org/preventing-sexual-exploitation-and-abuse/content/note-correspondents-press-release-high-level-meeting-prevention-sexual-exploitation-and">58 world leaders</a> had signed up to this proposal.</li>
<li>"Launch a review of the relationship between sexual harassment in the United Nations workplace and sexual exploitation and abuse in United Nations operations in the field."</li>  <li>"Launch a review of the relationship between sexual harassment in the United Nations workplace and sexual exploitation and abuse in United Nations operations in the field."</li>
<li>"Appoint a system-wide Victims’ Rights Advocate" – <a href="https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/sg/personnel-appointments/2017-08-23/ms-jane-connors-australia-victims%E2%80%99-rights-advocate">Jane Connors</a></li>  <li>"Appoint a system-wide Victims’ Rights Advocate" – <a href="https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/sg/personnel-appointments/2017-08-23/ms-jane-connors-australia-victims%E2%80%99-rights-advocate">Jane Connors</a></li>
<li>"Request the inclusion of an annexure to all Memoranda of Understanding with Troop Contributing Countries, to provide specific instructions regarding Member States’ obligations on the prevention and investigation of sexual exploitation and abuse." – <a href="https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/sg/note-correspondents/2017-09-29/note-correspondents-voluntary-compact-preventing-and">Voluntary Compact</a></li>  <li>"Request the inclusion of an annexure to all Memoranda of Understanding with Troop Contributing Countries, to provide specific instructions regarding Member States’ obligations on the prevention and investigation of sexual exploitation and abuse." – <a href="https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/sg/note-correspondents/2017-09-29/note-correspondents-voluntary-compact-preventing-and">Voluntary Compact</a></li>
</ol> </ol>
<b>Ongoing or not (yet) completed</b> <b>Ongoing or not (yet) completed</b>
<ol> <ol>
<li>"Instruct immediate suspension of staff with credible allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse against them."</li>  <li>"Instruct immediate suspension of staff with credible allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse against them."</li>
<li>"Propose to the Security Council the adoption of a Special Protocol on Preventing sexual exploitation and abuse as part of the mandate governing mission deployments."</li>  <li>"Propose to the Security Council the adoption of a Special Protocol on Preventing sexual exploitation and abuse as part of the mandate governing mission deployments."</li>
<li>"Request the Controller to explore the possible use of ex gratia payments to victims in exceptional cases and where the aforementioned Member States' designated mechanisms do not lead to an appropriate outcome."</li>  <li>"Request the Controller to explore the possible use of ex gratia payments to victims in exceptional cases and where the aforementioned Member States' designated mechanisms do not lead to an appropriate outcome."</li>
<li>"Member States asked to agree to obtain DNA samples of uniformed personnel alleged to have committed sexual exploitation and abuse."</li>  <li>"Member States asked to agree to obtain DNA samples of uniformed personnel alleged to have committed sexual exploitation and abuse."</li>
<li>"Include in every Personal History Profile (PHP), or its equivalent within the specific United Nations entity, agreeing that past records of employment with other United Nations entities may be accessed"</li>  <li>"Include in every Personal History Profile (PHP), or its equivalent within the specific United Nations entity, agreeing that past records of employment with other United Nations entities may be accessed"</li>
</ol> </ol>
  <em>"Meaningful implementation is more than just checking a box," </em>said a senior UN official<em>. "These initiatives must be converted into reality."</em> The official said that having more than one measure a month completed since February 2017 was a "pretty good rate" of progress for such a big and bureaucratic organization.
  &nbsp;
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