04 May 2015 – Report on child Sexual abuse by French troops in Central African Republic leaked. Are the UN walking the talk?  What has been done by the UN in the 10 last years for the child safeguarding of children to eliminate future sexual exploitation and abuse in United Nations peacekeeping operations? A high-ranking UN employee has been suspended on suspicion of leaking an internal report on the allegations child abuse by French troops in the Central African Republic.  The report alleged soldiers assaulted hungry children in exchange for food.  The abuses took place in 2014 when the UN mission in the country, Minusca, was in the process of being set up.

The report on the allegations, commissioned by the UN office of the high commissioner for human rights after reports on the ground that children, was passed to the French authorities because of the UN’s failure to take action to stop the abuse. The report documented the sexual exploitation of children as young as nine.

Terre des Hommes urges that all is carried out to ensure those in the relief and development community do all they can to prevent harm to children.  Keeping Children Safe Alliance of which Terre des Hommes is a member will be looking into this case and trying to work with those tasked to prevent these atrocities.

Terre des Hommes will be meeting with the high commissioner of the Human Rights Council, Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein, and will call on his attention that 31st May is the 10th anniversary of the Security Council’s presidential statement on sexual exploitation and abuse in United Nations Peacekeeping Operations.  The issue was addressed at that time by himself as then Permanent Representative of Jordan and entitled “A comprehensive strategy to eliminate future sexual exploitation and abuse in United Nations peacekeeping operations”.  Reporting back to the humanitarian and development sector on 10 years of this comprehensive strategy is more than timely.

All organisations must ensure they are not putting children at risk of abuse –  we must Do No Harm.”

For more information

UN aid worker suspended for leaking report on child abuse by French troops, Sandra Laville in The Guardian, 29 April 2015 

Central African Republic child abuse: UN denies ‘cover up’ , BBC, 1 May 2015