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Title Title
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Content Content
<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>  <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 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 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.  According to documents seen by <em>WikiTribune</em>, the UN is about a fifth of the way through a project Secretary-General António Guterres <a href="https://undocs.org/A/71/818">launched in February last year</a> to get the support of 193 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 world's largest intergovernmental organization.
  <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 <a href="https://undocs.org/A/71/818">said</a> 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 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.  The UN's project and the problems are greater in scope and gravity 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> which have nevertheless focused attention on the conduct of those we send to deliver aid. The charity is 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>).
<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.  
  The challenges the UN faces in diplomatic and practical terms are significant. First, Guterres must get on board the constellation of UN funds, programmes, and special agencies that often compete with one another for resources and exposure (link).
<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> "Most of these are initiatives that take time to implement. They require extensive coordination efforts and changes in procedures in place. Some of the new mechanisms we are setting up need to be tested before they are adopted system-wide," said Stéphane Dujarric, spokesman for the secretary general.
  Guterres must also get 193 countries to agree on a new set of practices to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse, countries <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-43046554">paid by the UN</a> to provide peacekeeping troops. <span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 1.6rem;">But the 'blue helmets' 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. While the UN may demand respect for women and locals, the soldiers' military code may be less scrupulous.</span>
"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?" "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?"
  However, the UN is working to introduce DNA testing of uniformed personnel to beef up criminal accountability and strengthen paternity tests claims, as well as developing technology that will allow victims to virtually participate in courts martial for soldiers charged with sexual misconduct.
  Dujarric also said victims' rights are being placed at the forefront of the campaign, with an emphasis on accountability and ending impunity. "To make sure that the voices of victims are heard, we have appointed victims’ rights advocates both at headquarters and in the field... On the ground, we are strengthening complaint reception mechanisms to enable victims to come forward," said Dujarric, who listed several additional measures such as strengthening a whistleblowers policy to protect people coming forward from retaliation.
  The issue extends beyond peacekeeping troops too, as Guterres recognized<span class="s1"><a href="https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/sg/speeches/2017-09-18/secretary-generals-sea-address-high-level-meeting"> at a high-level meeting in September 2017.</a> “Sexual exploitation and abuse is not a problem of peacekeeping, it is a problem of the entire United Nations,” he said. <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/jan/18/sexual-assault-and-harassment-rife-at-united-nations-staff-claim"><em>The Guardian</em> </a>reported in late January that a culture of silence and impunity in UN offices around the world has allowed sexual harassment and violence to grow unchecked.</span>
  Dujarric told <em>WikiTribune </em>that progress is being made in carrying out the UN's mission to end the "scourge" of sexual violence and exploitation. As of February 22, 87 countries have signed up to a voluntary agreement put forward by the secretary general to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse.
  A WikiTribune analysis shows that 13 of the top 20 troop contributing countries to the UN have signed the <a href="https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/sg/note-correspondents/2017-09-29/note-correspondents-voluntary-compact-preventing-and">compact</a>.
  Dujarric also said: "The response rate of Member States to communications from the Secretariat to follow up on reports of SEA by their personnel was 63% in 2017 versus 42% in 2012 and we follow up regularly."
&nbsp; <p class="p1"></p>
<h2>How big is the problem?</h2> <h2>How big is the problem?</h2>
  According to February 2017 report of the secretary general, "over 95,000 civilians and 100,000 uniformed military and police professionals serve the United Nations around the world."
  In 2016, 145 allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse involving 311 victims – predominantly 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." On February 13, <span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 1.6rem;">a former high-level UN employee told British tabloid </span><a style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 1.6rem;" href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/politics/5562215/un-aid-workers-raped-60000-people-as-its-claimed-organisation-employs-3300-paedophiles/"><span class="s1"><i>The Sun</i></span></a><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 1.6rem;"> UN aid workers could have carried out 60,000 rapes in the past decade.</span>
  <p class="p1">Sexual exploitation scandals by peacekeeping troops or troops operating under the UN umbrella have come under increased scrutiny since the 1990s (<a href="http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2017/07/peacekeepers-rape-170730075455216.html"><span class="s1"><i>Al Jazeera</i></span></a>). Most take place in extremely poor countries with highly vulnerable populations.</p>
  Here's a list of some of more recent scandals:
  <ul>
   <li>Investigators find UN peacekeepers are involved in sex trafficking in Bosnia and Kosovo in the early 1990s.</li>
   <li>In 2004, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations received a total of 105 allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse (<a href="https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/421DA870DF78A2BCC1256FDA0041E979-Zeid%20report%20_A-59-710_%20English.pdf">UN report</a>). Most accusations related to sex with minors where persons where paid "on average $1 -$3 per encounter", with food, or with jobs.</li>
   <li>Similar instances of abuse by UN peacekeepers, or troops under a UN mandate, have occured in Sierra Leone, Eritrea, Somalia, Liberia, Haiti, and Guinea (<em><a href="http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2017/07/peacekeepers-rape-170730075455216.html">Al Jazeera</a></em>).</li>
   <li>In late 2014, former UN worker Anders Kompass leaked a report to French authorities that contained accusations of sexual exploitation and abuse of minors. In his report, Kompass accused sixteen, mostly French, soldiers sent by the UN Security Council to restore peace in the conflict-ridden country of sexually abusing 13 minors, including boys between the ages of nine and 13.</li>
   <li>In April 2017, <a style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 1.6rem;" href="https://apnews.com/e6ebc331460345c5abd4f57d77f535c1"><span class="s1">The Associated Press published</span></a><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 1.6rem;"> an investigation that claimed that 134 Sri Lankan United Nations peacekeepers operated a child sex ring in Haiti for three years with impunity. The same investigation also uncovered nearly 2,000 allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation against UN peacekeepers and personnel around the world. </span></li>
   <li><em>Did we miss one? Add it in EDIT</em></li>
  </ul>
  <h2>Transforming UN sexual abuse culture</h2>
  <em>Describe what his process is doing since he launched it in February please.</em>
  Even before taking over the most important post in the UN, Guterres made clear that tackling sexual violence and exploitation was one of his top priorities.
  <p class="p1">In his <a href="https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/sg/speeches/2016-12-12/secretary-general-designate-ant%C3%B3nio-guterres-oath-office-speech"><span class="s1">remarks to the General Assembly</span></a> on taking the oath of office on December 12, 2016, Guterres said: “The United Nations system has not yet done enough to prevent and respond to the appalling crimes of sexual violence and exploitation committed under the UN flag against those we are supposed to protect. I will work closely with Member States on structural, legal and operational measures to make the zero-tolerance policy for which Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has fought so hard a reality.”</p>
  Guterres's predecessor had started working on a number of measures that he intended to build on.
  <strong>Chronology:</strong>
  <ul>
   <li>February 8, 2016: Former Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appoints Jane Holl Lute as Special Coordinator on improving the UN's response to sexual exploitation and abuse (<a href="https://www.un.org/press/en/2016/sga1634.doc.htm">UN</a>)</li>
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."  <li>February 28, 2017: the report of the secretary general is published and presented to the General Assembly. It lays out a host of new measures aimed at taking a "system-wide approach to preventing and responding to sexual exploitation and abuse."</li>
Consolidate the history here  
<h2>How is Guterres getting on</h2>  
Describe what his process is doing since he launched it in February please.   
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.  
<div class="page" title="Page 5">  
<div class="layoutArea">  
<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>  
<div></div>  
   <li>August 2, 2017: Guterres sends Voluntary Compact to 193 Member States to agree on and coordinate action against sexual abuse.</li>
   <li>August 23, 2017: Guterres appoints <a href="https://www.un.org/preventing-sexual-exploitation-and-abuse/content/victims-rights-advocate-0">Jane Connors</a> as Victims Rights Advocate.</li>
   <li>September 18, 2017: Guterres addresses a high-level meeting and says that sexual abuse and exploitation is a <a href="https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/sg/speeches/2017-09-18/secretary-generals-sea-address-high-level-meeting">UN-wide problem</a>.</li>
<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>  <li>September 29, 2017: Guterres announces that 72 countries have signed up to the <a href="https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/sg/note-correspondents/2017-09-29/note-correspondents-voluntary-compact-preventing-and">voluntary compact</a>. Another 19 indicate their intention to do so in the near future.</li>
<div></div>  
<div class="column"></div> </ul>
</div>  
</div>  
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.  
<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 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. <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; &nbsp;
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