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UNMISS urges GBV survivors to report abuses

Author: Nyathong William | Published: March 8, 2024

A UN Protection of Civilians Site (POC), Malakal, South Sudan. Credit: (IOM/Bannon 2015).

An official of the UN Mission in South Sudan is encouraging survivors to report acts of sexual exploitation by staff of UN agencies to authorities for accountability.

Christine Besong, Conduct and Discipline Officer at UNMISS, said the United Nations Organization has a zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse.

Besong spoke at an event to commemorate the International Women’s Day on Thursday.

The celebration under the theme: ‘Accelerate gender transformation through inclusion and investing in women and girls’ was facilitated by Central Equatorial Women’s Union.

Besong strongly emphasized that every case of sexual violence and exploitation should be reported and investigated to hold perpetrators to account.

She said survivors can report abuse to local authorities or other relevant offices in their communities.

“The UN has a zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse, and every case will be investigated, and punishment will follow, that punishment can only happen if you report,” she said.

“In most places, we have what we call community-based complaint networks, community-based complaint mechanisms within your communities that allow you to report sexual exploitation and abuse in your own language, in your own context, in your own way.”

“You don’t have to come to our office, you don’t have to call us. We have people your community where you can report. But always call us so that we can direct you.”

In September 2022, a joint investigation by The New Humanitarian and Al Jazeera uncovered sexual abuses and exploitation by UN and aid workers at Malakal Protection of Civilian Site in the Upper Nile State.

According to a probe, the first case emerged in 2015, two years after the December 2013 civil war.

However, the incident recently increased involving IOM, MSF, WFP and World Vision workers, the findings named as alleged perpetrators.

Published on its website early Thursday, The New Humanitarian quoted Camp residents as saying the UN peacekeepers paid bribes for access to women living at the protection of civilian’s site.










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