Friday, 16 February 2018

Janus Face of Humanitarian aid: what was known, and when they knew it- sexual exploitation of displaced women in Haiti's post-earthquake crisis and West Africa conflict zones


Below are some key unreported documents from the evolving crisis.


11 October 2002

Original: English

02-64794 (E)

**00226644779944**

Fifty-seventh session

Agenda item 122

Report of the Secretary-General on the activities

of the Office of Internal Oversight Services

Investigation into sexual exploitation of refugees by aid

workers in West Africa

Note by the Secretary-General*

1. Pursuant to General Assembly resolutions 48/218 B of 29 July 1994 and

54/244 of 23 December 1999, the Secretary -General has the honour to transmit, for

the attention of the General Assembly, the attached report, conveyed to him by the

Under-Secretary- General for Internal Oversight Services, on the investigation into

allegations of sexual exploitation of refugees by aid workers in West Africa.

2. The Secretary- General takes note of the findings of the report and concurs

fully with its recommendations. The Secretary -General also notes that measures are

being taken or initiated to correct many of the issues raised in this report.

3. Sexual exploitation and abuse by humanitarian staff cannot be tolerated. It

violates everything the United Nations stands for. Men, women and children

displaced by conflict or other disasters are among the most vulnerable people on

earth. They look to the United Nations and its humanitarian partners for shelter and

protection. Anyone employed by or affiliated with the United Nations who breaks

that sacred trust must be held accountable and, when the circumstances so warrant,

prosecuted.

4. Since the allegations first arose of sexual abuse and exploitation by

humanitarian aid workers and peacekeepers in West Africa, the United Nations has

been determined to act firmly and quickly. Improved systems for recourse,

investigation and discipline are being instituted. Under the auspices of the

Inter-Agency Standing Committee, which brings together United Nations relief

agencies, other international organizations and non -governmental organizations, the

humanitarian community has identified standards of behaviour app licable to all its

personnel and is implementing a newly adopted Plan of Action (see annex I) to

* The report could not be submitted prior to the deadline of 2 July because the investigation had not

yet been concluded.

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strengthen mechanisms for protecting those who depend on international aid. The

Secretary -General welcomes these steps and reaffirms his commitment to working

closely with all involved to ensure full and speedy action wherever necessary.

5. Although the genesis of this report was in West Africa, the United Nations is

addressing the issue on a global basis. Wherever the United Nations and its partners

are at work, they must shoulder their responsibilities for implementing the necessary

management and operational changes, and remain ever vigilant to ensure that such

appalling acts are not permitted to occur again.

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Report of the Office of Internal Oversight Services on the

investigation into sexual exploitation of refugees by aid

workers in West Africa

Summary

Late in November 2001, the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) was

asked by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

(UNHCR) to review allegations of sexual exploitation of female refugees by

international and national aid workers, specifically regarding United Nations and

non-governmental organization (NGO) staff and peacekeepers in three West African

countries: Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The allegation of widespread sexual

exploitation arose from a report by two consultants who had been commissioned by

UNHCR and Save the Children (UK) to study the question of sexual exploitation and

violence in the refugee commu nities in the three countries.

Following a series of meetings in December 2001/January 2002, UNHCR

requested that the Investigations Division of OIOS conduct an investigation to

ascertain inter alia whether the allegations against aid workers and peacekeepers

could be legally substantiated and if the problem was widespread, as alleged, what

the contributing factors were and whether evidence of criminal and/or administrative

misconduct could be obtained.

It was agreed with UNHCR that, for the purpose of the investigation, the

definition of sexual exploitation would be concerned primarily with situations in

which an international NGO, humanitarian or aid worker, in a position of power, uses

that power to request sexual favours or benefits by trading food or services that

refugees are entitled to receive free of charge via the distribution system of

international aid. It was determined that the applicable legal framework to deal with

cases of sexual exploitation would be contained within the following texts: the

Convention on the Rights of the Child, of 1989; the African Charter on the Rights

and Welfare of the Child, of 1999; the penal laws of the three countries and the codes

of conduct of international organizations and NGOs.

OIOS assembled a carefully comp osed investigation team from eight countries,

comprising professional investigators, lawyers, refugee protection and human rights

specialists, translators and a paediatric trauma specialist. The Investigation Team

commenced operations in February 2002 and completed its work in July 2002. The

investigation was conducted in three phases, the first being an assessment of the

scope of the problem. The second phase consisted of an evidence search aimed at

determining whether what was reported in the consultants’ assessment could be

verified. The third phase concentrated on seeking fresh evidence, witnesses and

victims, which led to the development of new cases of sexual exploitation for

investigation.

Although the stories reported by the consultants could not be verified, the

problem of sexual exploitation of refugees is real. Extensive interviews of many

potential witnesses, victims and others thought to have relevant information enabled

the Investigation Team to identify new cases of sexual exploitation, ranging from

consensual relationships that occurred as a result of the exploiter’s position of power

to allegations of sodomy and rape of refugees.

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While the consultants claimed that sexual exploitation was widespread, their

report only gave a few vague or dated examples of uncorroborated incidents of

sexual exploitation and also included a variety of reports of sexual exploitation

involving local persons and internally displaced persons, commercial sex, and warrelated

incidents. The Investigation Team sought to confirm the validity of the most

serious allegations but was hampered by the lack of information on sources and

victims. Of the 12 cases from the consultants’ report which the Team fully

investigated, none was substantiated even after extensive intervie ws of refugees,

UNHCR staff and NGO employees. The Investigation Team identified and fully

investigated 43 cases of possible sexual exploitation. Of these, 10 cases were

substantiated by the evidence. One involved a United Nations Volunteer working

with UNHCR. His case has been referred to the appropriate agency and action has

been taken. Another involved a peacekeeper who has been repatriated. The other

cases involved NGO personnel and their cases have been referred to the relevant

organizations. It is noteworthy that no allegation against any United Nations staff

member could be substantiated. These cases are described in greater detail in this

report.

This report also contains observations as to the factors which contribute to

sexual exploitation in refugee communities, including aspects of refugee camp life,

camp structure, camp security, food and services distribution, employment

opportunities, profiles of camp workers and quality and quantities of food and other

relief items distributed. For example, it was observed that few international staff

members of UNHCR or its implementing partners are present in the camps, allowing

the actual day-to -day management of the camp to be left to national staff and the

refugees themselves.

The consultants’ report of widespread sexual exploitation of refugees has not

been confirmed, in the cases which OIOS was able to substantiate, by sufficient

evidence for either criminal or disciplinary proceedings. However, the conditions in

the camps and in refugee communities in the three countries in question make

refugees vulnerable to sexual and other forms of exploitation and such vulnerability

increases if one is a female and young. This report contains 17 recommendations,

including recommendations for follow-up on cases with the organizations which have

been provided with evidence that one or more of their employees have been using

their position for exploitative purposes.

Comments on this report were sought from UNHCR, the Department of

Peacekeeping Operations and the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone, UNICEF

and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (co-chairs of the Inter-

Agency Standing Committee Task Force on Protection from Sexual Exploitation and

Abuse in Humanitarian Crises) as well as the World Food Programme. Their

comments are included in italics in the text of the report and in the two annexes.

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Contents

Paragraphs Page

I. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1–3 6

II. Methodology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4–7 6

III. Definitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8–12 7

IV. The investigation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13–41 7

A. Verification of the consultants’ report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14–16 7

B. Case studies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17–21 8

C. Problems in the camps. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22–23 11

D. Camp life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 12

E. Meeting basic needs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25–41 12

V. Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42–54 14

VI. Recommendations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 17

Annexes

I. Report of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Task Force on Pro tection from Sexual

Exploitation and Abuse in Humanitarian Crises and Plan of Action on sexual exploitation . . . 20

II. Highlights of some action taken by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for

Refugees to prevent exploitation of refugees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

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I. Introduction

1. Late in November 2001, the Inspector General of

the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner

for Refugees (UNHCR) advised the Director of the

Investigations Division of the Office of Internal

Oversight Services (OIOS) of information received

indicating that sexual exploitation of refugee women

and girls by humanitarian aid workers and United

Nations peacekeepers might be occurring in West

Africa.

2. The information was contained in a preliminary

report written by consultants retained by UNHCR and

Save the Children UK for a separate study in the West

Africa region. Following that notification, it was

agreed that a meeting should be held on the issue with

a view to obtaining full details from the consultants.

In December 2001/January 2002, several meetings

were held, involving the consultants and the relevant

officers of UNHCR, the World Food Programme

(WFP) and OIOS. It was agreed that prior to an

investigation there was an urgent need for UNHCR to

put in place additional safeguards to protect refugee

women and girls and to provide further means for them

to report any incidents. Once those safeguards were

operational to protect victims and witnesses, OIOS

would launch an investigation to determine whether

there was evidence of criminal conduct or

administrative misconduct by humanitarian aid workers

or peacekeepers, whether the problem was widespread

or incidental and what the contributing factors were.

Originally, the lead consultant, from Save the Children

UK, had agreed to assist the OIOS team, but she was

unable to do so for personal reasons. The second

consultant, from UNHCR, subsequently provided some

assistance in Guinea.

3. In February 2002, the investigation led by OIOS

began in West Africa, specifically in the three countries

which had been visited late in 2001 by the

consultants — Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone (the

Mano River Union countries) — and field work was

completed in July 2002. This is the report of that

investigation.

II. Methodology

4. Because of the risks to refugee women and girls

who might have been subject to sexual exploitation,

UNHCR reinforced and upgraded protection

mechanisms in each camp prior to the start of the

investigation to ensure that both during and after the

investigation, there would be appropriate protection

and support systems for any victims identified.

Furthermore, OIOS decided to use code numbers rather

than names to identify potential victims and key

witnesses as an additional measure of protection. It is

important to note that no reward or incentive was

offered to any of the refugee witnesses in exchange for

providing information or assistance to the

investigation.

5. The Investigation Team assembled by OIOS in

consultation with UNHCR was carefully composed of

professional investigators, lawyers, refugee protection

and human rights specialists, translators and a

paediatric trauma specialist, who are nationals of eight

countries: Australia, Burkina Faso, Ghana, India,

Japan, Kenya, the United Kingdom of Great Britain

and Northern Ireland and the United States of America.

Further, owing to the sensitive nature of the issue,

female investigators and translators were utilized to the

extent possible for interviews with female refugees.

6. The Investigation Team worked on the ground in

Guinea and Sierra Leone but only to a limited extent in

Liberia because of the movement of refugees and the

security situation in that country. Meetings were held

with stakeholders in the United Nations system and

with the concerned NGOs, including with the local

staff of both UNHCR and the NGOs in all three

countries. Nearly 300 individual interviews were

conducted of refugees, aid workers and peacekeepers in

those countries and careful observations of camp

activity were made.

7. It was appreciated from the outset that witnesses

might be reluctant to speak about sexual exploitation

and other related matters out of fear of reprisal or

stigmatization, or for cultural and social reasons. All

witnesses were therefore assured of the protection of

their identity and the confidentiality of the information

provided. In addition to interviews at the refugee

camps, interviews were conducted with repatriated

refugees at several transit camps from which a

significant number of cases were developed for

investigation. The Investigation Team observed that

some refugees were more willing to provide

information outside the refugee camp environment,

owing to fear of possible retaliation in the camps.

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III. Definitions

8. Laws of the three countries were carefully

researched, as were the rules, regulations, guidelines,

codes and practices governing aid workers.

9. Article 1 of the Convention on the Rights of the

Child, of 1989, defines a child as every human being

below the age of 18 years unless, under the law

applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier. The

same definition is used in article 2 of the African

Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, of

1999. In view of their vulnerability to sexual

exploitation and the seriousness of cases involving

them, the focus of the investigation was mainly on

female refugees under 18 years of age as defined in

various international statutes, who were allegedly

denied aid (or other benefits to which they might be

entitled) for refusing to enter into a sexual relationship

with an aid worker. The Investigation Team also looked

into those cases where an aid worker allegedly used aid

as a tool to lure a refugee girl into a sexual

relationship.

10. Aid workers include refugees hired by NGOs or

the United Nations as well as national and international

staff of NGOs and United Nations agencies employed

in any capacity, including daily labour.

11. It was observed during the investigation and

confirmed in interviews with refugees that many

relationships develop between refugees and aid

workers who themselves are refugees. Such

relationships are entered into for a variety of reasons,

including the situation where a female refugee does so

in the expectation or hope that she may be rewarded

with additional goods and services beyond what she

would normally be entitled to receive. This is not to

suggest that a number of these relationships are not

genuine and may result in marriages.

12. The Investigation Team discovered that many

female refugees engage in relationships because of the

abject poverty pervading the refugee camps in which

they live. In the absence of skills training and

employment, many are compelled to enter into

prostitution or other forms of exploitative relationships

to augment the inadequate aid provided for their basic

needs of food, clothing and shelter.

UNICEF in its comments to OIOS stated that the scope

of the investigation should have included other

vulnerable groups such as internally displaced persons

because relationships entered into by females in these

situations could also be deemed exploitative.

OIOS notes that its task was not to establish general

exploitation, as that would exceed its mandate, but to

determine if those persons in need of protection,

specifically refugees, under the protection of UNHCR,

were victims of sexual exploitation.

IV. The investigation

13. The Investigation Team took a two -pronged

approach: first, to try to establish whether the

information obtained as a by -product of another study

by the two consultants retained by UNHCR and Save

the Children UK could be verified. This was critical as

the information provided by the consultants was based

on stories related by third parties and had not been

verified by them. Second, to conduct independent

interviews of refugee women and girls to establish

whether sufficient evidence could be adduced to prove

cases of sexual exploitation by aid workers and

peacekeepers, whether by criminal or administrative

proceedings.

A. Verification of the consultants’ report

14. The two consultants, together with a Save the

Children staff member, had been retained to study

sexual exploitation and violence against refugee

children in the three Mano River countries. During the

several weeks of their work, they met with groups

which included refugees, returnees, local populations,

internally displaced persons and humanitarian aid

workers. In these groups, they heard stories concerning

sexual exploitation and prostitution in West Africa

generally, and in camps for which UNHCR has

responsibility specifically, as well as in camps for

internally displaced persons who are not within the

mandate of UNHCR. As a result of these stories of

exploitative behaviour by humanitarian aid workers

and peacekeepers, the consultants made a preliminary

report to UNHCR late in November 2001. The leaking

to the media in February 2002 of the full draft report,

which was presented to UNHCR and Save the Children

in January 2002, created a media furore, and thereafter

the unconfirmed stories were treated as facts in the

media and elsewhere.

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15. Thus the first job of the Investigation Team was

to ascertain if the stories reported by the consultants

could be verified and to identify and record evidence

from victims. However, this proved problematic for a

variety of reasons: the refugee population is highly

mobile; many of the stories involved non-refugee

populations; stories were related to war events; or

stories were from groups of people vaguely described

by the consultants for example as “6-12 year olds”,

“women leaders”, “community leaders”, “women’s

group” and “adolescents”. Some examples are given

below:

(a) In one camp in Guinea, the Investigation

Team reconstructed a group of girls described by the

consultants as “girl mothers”, allegedly the victims of

sexual exploitation. None of those interviewed was in a

relationship with an aid worker; those with children

informed the Investigation Team that fellow refugees

had impregnated them. Indeed, in all three countries

refugees, including leadership committees and refugee

parents, told the Investigation Team that most

pregnancies were the result of relationships between

refugees.

(b) The few individual sources named by the

consultants were found to be repeating rumours and

gossip rather than providing first-hand information.

Those named as perpetrators were generally identified

by nicknames, initials or names very common in the

region. The Investigation Team was however able to

trace some of the sources with the assistance of the

local translators and names eventually supplied by one

of the consultants.

(c) When the Investigation Team interviewed

the person who had reported sexual exploitation to the

consultants, and she was asked to provide specific

examples of such exploitation, she was unable to. She

stated that her discussion with the consultants was

based on what she called her “psychological

assessment”, in view of the high incidence of teenage

pregnancies observed by her in that particular camp in

Guinea.

(d) One widely circulated story reported by the

consultants was of 10 girls in Sierra Leone allegedly on

their way to meet United Nations peacekeepers who

had drowned after a canoe they were travelling in

capsized. The peacekeepers were blamed for their

deaths. The Investigation Team found that the story

was reported by a group of 6 to 12 year old children

who related stories of various incidents of drowning

victims in different locations. Despite substantial

efforts to confirm the report, the Investigation Team

found no evidence to support what seems to have

become a kind of mythical story of desperation by

refugees. An internal investigation of the same incident

previously conducted by the United Nations Mission in

Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) arrived at the same

conclusion.

(e) Another report of groups of women and

girls being photographed in suggestive poses by

peacekeepers was also found not to be credible after

the Investigation Team interviewed the group of

women and girls who were said to have been involved.

(f) Where there were specific allegations

against named perpetrators, the Investigation Team

found that these were also reported by non-witness

third parties. The allegations could not be verified

despite efforts to locate the possible victims.

16. Nevertheless, the fact that the consultants heard

sexual exploitation stories from groups of unconnected

people, spread across three countries, gives some

credibility to the issue even if the specific allegations

could not be verified. It is also the view of OIOS and

UNHCR that the consultants were correct to raise the

issue of sexual exploitation. The Investigation Team

found that the limited assistance provided, as well as

poverty and lack of economic opportunity for women

in the camps and elsewhere in the region, are factors

that lead to sexual exploitation.

B. Case studies

17. The Investigation Team conducted extensive

interviews of refugees, NGO staff and UNHCR staff in

an attempt to verify the stories reported by the

consultants and to pursue new cases developed by the

Investigation Team. From these, the Team was able to

identify cases for investigation, including cases from

the consultants’ report. Most of the cases the Team

investigated originated in Guinea. None of the

allegations of sexual exploitation reported by the

consultants was substantiated, however. The NGO

cases have been referred to the relevant NGOs for

appropriate follow-up. In a majority of those cases,

which could not be fully substantiated, either the

victim or the alleged perpetrator could not be traced.

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18. OIOS acknowledges the difficulty of obtaining

corroborative evidence in the form of eyewitness

testimony in cases of sexual exploitation and related

offences. Hence not all of the cases investigated could

be corroborated. In the substantiated cases, some of the

corroborative evidence obtained included medical

evidence, injuries consistent with the allegation and

evidence of recent complaints by the victims. Some of

the cases related to accusations against NGO aid

workers, others to the peacekeepers of UNAMSIL and

others to United Nations staff, including UNHCR.

Medical staff in the camps and UNHCR field staff

reported cases of sexual violence such as rape and

sexual assault between refugees in which the

perpetrator was in a position of physical power rather

than a position of power resulting from the authority

conferred on him by an NGO or an international

organization.

19. All reports of sexual exploitation or misconduct

pertaining to NGOs received and investigated by the

Team were passed on to the relevant organization

through UNHCR so that the circumstances of each case

could be reviewed under the particular disciplinary or

administrative process of the NGO, as OIOS does not

have jurisdiction over NGO staff. One case, in which a

United Nations Volunteer was involved, was referred to

UNHCR and his services were subsequently terminated

by his agency.

20. The cases described below are derived from the

independent interviews conducted by the Investigation

Team except where there are specific references to the

consultants’ report. These cases are illustrative of all

the cases the Team investigated.

Case 1

(a) A 17-year-old female refugee from Sierra

Leone alleged that she was involved in a sexual

relationship with a United Nations Volunteer. She

stated that she had met him in 1999 when she was

approximately 15 years old while he, a man then aged

44 years, was a United Nations Volunteer working with

UNHCR in Gueckedou, Guinea. Following the first

meeting, the victim and the Volunteer agreed to enter

into a sexual relationship.

(b) At the time of the relationship the refugee

victim was living with foster parents in that town. The

victim stated that the United Nations Volunteer knew

her to be a refugee and was aware of her age, which

was confirmed by other evidence. She further

explained that the he assisted her financially by paying

her school fees, enabling her to acquire computing and

typing skills. The victim told the investigators that, as

result of her sexual relationship with the United

Nations Volunteer, she became pregnant. The man then

abandoned her, refused to accept paternity or provide

any form of support or maintenance for the child.

(c) When confronted with the evidence in the

case, the United Nations Volunteer at first attempted to

deny the allegation but later admitted that he had had a

sexual relationship with the victim. He refused to

accept responsibility for the pregnancy, however.

(d) The contract of the United Nations

Volunteer has since been terminated as a result of the

evidence obtained during the investigation.

Case 2

(a) A 14-year-old refugee girl from Sierra

Leone was raped in a refugee camp in Guinea early in

2002. The Investigation Team established that the

offenders, a Sierra Leonean refugee and a Guinean

NGO staff member, were responsible. In the course of

her interview, the victim described in detail how the

Guinean NGO offender while on duty in the refugee

camp spotted her and requested his friend, the Sierra

Leonean, to approach her on his behalf to solicit her for

a sexual relationship. She declined the solicitation.

Later that day, the Sierra Leonean refugee called to her

as she was walking past his hut, saying that he had a

message for her. When she paused, he pushed her

inside his hut where the NGO offender was waiting.

She was restrained and violently raped by the NGO

worker.

(b) The victim sustained serious injuries and

reported the matter to friends who immediately took

her to the health post in the camp for medical attention.

She was treated for her injuries and transferred to a

local hospital for further medical attention. The

physician confirmed to the Investigation Team that he

had treated the victim and that, in his professional

opinion, the injuries were consistent with rape. The

physician added that he had to refer the victim to a

hospital in the neighbouring town because of the

seriousness of the injuries she sustained. The victim

was subsequently able to identify the NGO staff

member and the Sierra Leonean refugee to the

investigators.

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(c) The Sierra Leonean refugee who had

facilitated the rape admitted having assisted his friend,

the NGO worker. The perpetrator denied the rape

allegation but acknowledged that he was present in the

refugee camp when the rape allegedly occurred. He

further admitted knowing the Sierra Leonean refugee

who had abetted him and also identified him to the

investigators. In view of the criminal nature of the

allegation, the matter has been brought to the attention

of UNHCR to refer the case to the local Guinean

authorities for prosecution. The matter has also been

referred to the NGO that employs the perpetrator for

their action.

Case 3

(a) A young returnee boy alleged that a

UNAMSIL peacekeeper had sodomized him late in

June 2002, in an isolated bush area near the

contingent’s logistic base. In this case, the boy, who is

approximately 14 years of age, was with some friends

who are all from a transit centre for returning refugees

near the contingent’s camp managed by one of the

implementing partners of UNHCR. The victim says

that, while he was fishing, a non-commissioned officer,

whom the victim clearly identified and knew from prior

encounters, led him away from where the other boys

and soldiers were fishing. As the victim knew and

trusted the alleged offender, he complied with the

request to follow him.

(b) The two reached a secluded point some 100

metres from their initial fishing spot on the river’s

embankment. There, the victim stated that the offender

grabbed him and forcibly sodomized him.

Subsequently, the victim managed to break free from

the offender and ran to his friends to report the incident

and showed them the money that the offender had

given him to keep him quiet.

(c) The victim reported the matter to his mother

later the same day and they subsequently reported the

assault to the police. As a result of the sexual as sault,

he felt discomfort and, approximately two days later,

was taken to a hospital for medical examination. The

physician stated that the description of discomfort by

the victim was consistent with sexual assault.

(d) The victim, his mother and other guardians

stated that they had not considered reporting the matter

to UNAMSIL as they thought it was a normal police

case. The police, on receipt of the allegation and the

medical report, went to the contingent’s camp to

attempt to arrest the alleged offender. (The police told

the Investigation Team that they had been denied

access to the alleged offender when they tried to

investigate the allegation.)

(e) Only after OIOS notified UNAMSIL did the

Mission’s management request that an investigation be

conducted by the Chief Provost Marshal in

collaboration with the Investigation Team. The

peacekeeper was identified by the victim and

interviewed. UNAMSIL has since confirmed that the

investigation is now concluded and that, as a result of

the findings, the officer in question has been

repatriated to his country of origin. The details of the

allegations and findings were forwarded by UNAMSIL

to the concerned country for appropriate action.

Case 4

Claims of sexual exploitation were made directly

against two UNHCR staff members in the consultants’

report that were both investigated by the Team. In one

case, involving a UNHCR Protection Officer, more

than 20 interviews were conducted with refugee girls

of various ages and with UNHCR staff members in an

effort to obtain evidence of the reported exploitation.

As no further details other than the claims were

available, the allegations could not be substantiated.

Similar allegations against a UNHCR driver and a

WFP member of staff could not be substantiated. In the

case of the UNHCR driver, the victim could not

identify the perpetrator, as she had not been in contact

with him for several years. The absence of specifics

from the consultants regarding possible exploitation by

United Nations staff led the Investigation Team to

spend many days trying to track vague stories to no

avail.

Case 5

The consultants’ report noted several cases of

NGO officials exploiting refugee girls or living with

under-aged refugee girls. In all the cases the Team

investigated, the female refugee in question was in fact

an adult. In a particular case in Liberia, a female

refugee described in the report as a child was actually a

25-year-old woman who had been in a long-term

relationship with the NGO aid worker and had been

living with him in his apartment when she became

pregnant. Although he had agreed to support the child,

he had been unable to do so when he was fired.

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Case 6

An allegation that a truck driver employed by one

of the implementing partners of UNHCR was engaged

in sexual exp loitation was investigated by the Team

and substantiated. The under-aged victim identified the

driver from an array of photographs as the person who

had impregnated her and abandoned her. The matter

has been referred to the employing NGO for

appropriate action.

Case 7

In another case investigated, the Investigation

Team confirmed that a refugee, who was also an NGO

employee, had impregnated a 17-year-old refugee girl.

He has since fled to his country of origin and cannot be

located.

Case 8

Two cases involving specific NGO staff who

allegedly had exchanged sex for food with refugee girls

were investigated. The perpetrators could not be

identified as the victims were not able to describe the

physical appearance of the perpetrators, nor did the

girls know their full names, giving only first names

that are common in the community. Furthermore, it is

unclear if they were regular NGO staff or casual staff

from the refugee communities. The matter has been

referred to the NGO in question for follow-up.

Case 9

An allegation that a refugee schoolteacher

impregnated a 17-year-old disabled refugee girl was

investigated and substantiated. The perpetrator initially

denied responsibility for the pregnancy but he has since

accepted responsibility and is providing financial

support for the child.

Case 10

It was alleged that a schoolteacher employed by

an NGO had approached a student for a relationship

and regularly subjected her to physical abuse when she

rejected his advances. The Team investigated the case

but was unable to trace the victim to verify the

allegations. In any case, the teacher has been dismissed

for undisclosed reasons by the NGO.

21. These cases were not the only ones investigated,

but they represent the types of case and outcome

adduced by the Investigation Team. The only case

substantiated involving a United Nations staff member

is that involving the United Nations Volunteers. The

evidence did not substantiate any of the other cases

involving United Nations staff members. This finding

is consistent with the fact that the vast majority of aid

workers in the camps are from NGOs. OIOS cautions

against complacency, however, as new cases will arise.

C. Problems in the camps

22. Close examination of the operation of the camps

indicates that there are several major problems which

could easily lead to exploitation of various kinds,

including sexual exploitation:

(a) The Investigation Team found few women

in key positions in the camps;

(b) Job opportunities for refugees generally are

poor to non -existent and where they do exist, they are

primarily taken by men, leaving women very little

authority or personal access to funds or power;

(c) While girls make up substantial numbers of

students in the lower grades of schools in the camps,

there are virtually none in the higher grades, leaving

them with limited education, often on their own or

tending to small children;

(d) Few international staff of either UNHCR or

the implementing partners are in the camps themselves,

so that the actual management of the camps is left to

local staff and other refugees with only very limited

supervision; indeed, the farther the camp is from the

UNHCR branch office, the less attention its residents

are receiving from international staff;

(e) While many of the humanitarian aid

workers the Investigation Team met are highly

dedicated staff, working under extremely difficult,

exhausting and minimally rewarding circumstances,

there are others assigned to work in the camps who are

of varying skill levels, commitment and interest in

refugees who may engage in sexual exploitation;

(f) Single young women who have lost their

supporting family structures in the wars are among

those most at risk, and efforts by UNHCR to find foster

families for them have met with mixed results.

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23. The Investigation Team’s observations revealed

that the camp environment is a fertile ground for

breeding exploitative behaviour.

D. Camp life

24. In general, the refugee camps are managed by

implementing partners on behalf of UNHCR, which

retains responsibility for refugee protection,

coordination and monitoring of assistance in the

camps. The refugees themselves organize various

committees, with a chairperson and other designated

officials. The main camp committee undertakes various

roles, includ ing acting as a focal point for the refugees

and liasing with NGOs and UNHCR on behalf of the

refugees to articulate their needs and concerns. This

committee also mediates disputes in the refugee

community. Some examples found by the Investigation

Team include paternity disputes and claims for child

support. The committees are also involved in hiring

refugees as casual labourers for NGOs. In terms of

recreation, there are social and sports activities

organized in the camps for and by the refugees. There

is no restriction on the movement of refugees or others

at any time of the day or night, either within the camp

or exiting and entering the camp.

E. Meeting basic needs

1. Shelter

25. Refugees in the camps visited in Guinea, Liberia

and Sierra Leone live in temporary shelters made of

mud bricks and poles; normally only one room is

provided for a family. Prior to the allocation of

individual plots and the provision of shelter material,

refugees are housed in communal shelters. It is the

responsibility of the refugees to construct their own

homes. However, in the case of persons identified as

“vulnerable”, including single females, the responsible

NGO may assist with the construction of the shelter.

The NGO staff members, however, are usually male

and are often refugees themselves. In some of the

camps visited by the Investigation Team, the camp

manager is involved as well. Straw is used for

bedding — anything more requires money.

2. Sanitary facilities

26. Bathing facilities in a number of the camps

consist of one building with one side for men and

another side for women. The isolation and lack of

separate and distinctly placed facilities, which would

increase the cost, has caused the facilities to

occasionally be the site of sexual violence. However,

since the investigation, the camps in Liberia now have

separate facilities.

3. Health

27. Basic medical care is normally provided through

implementing partners, whose staff are stretched thin,

rarely have time for health education or prevention and

lack facilities for more serious cases, which are usually

referred to neighbouring public hospitals. The case

referral system is quite cumbersome and delays are

common; in the case of urban refugees, authorization

by the UNHCR physician in the branch office is

required. For example, a delay of several days in

referring the case of a baby scalded by hot water in

Guinea resulted in the baby’s death.

28. Although teenage pregnancy is rife in some of the

camps visited, there is little or no pre - or post-natal

care for mothers and often the father is not identified

or, if he is, does not accept responsibility for the child.

Babies are the responsibility of the mothers, who must

provide for them as best they can. Some baby milk and

limited baby supplies are normally provided.

4. Clothing

29. Appropriate clothing is available in very limited

quantities and money is required for additional clothing

needs. Many teenage girls consequently seek

alternative sources of supply for clothing, cosmetics,

jewellery and other items.

5. Food

30. Food is a continuing source of frustration and

anxiety. The food distributed consists generally of

bulgur wheat rather than rice, which is the regional

staple, small portions of cooking oil and occasional

protein in the form of beans. Meat, fish or other foods

need to be purchased. Protein biscuits and other

foodstuffs are available in feeding centres for cases of

malnutrition. Refugees fleeing the recent fighting in

Liberia have been pouring into Guinea by the

thousands, and many of them are suffering to some

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extent from malnutrition. WFP has been flying in

emergency supplies, but this is expensive and supplies

are limited.

WFP stated that it distributes bulgur to refugees

because of the explicit indication of donors that rice

would not be provided for distribution because it is

expensive in the region and it might be diverted or

traded by the beneficiaries.

WFP further remarked that general food rations

distributed by the Programme have had a clear positive

impact on the nutritional status of refugees and

internally displaced persons in the camps, where

malnutrition rates are often lower than those found in

the surrounding host communities. The food aid basket,

ration levels and overall food and non-food

requirements of the regional operation have been

approved by all the humanitarian actors in the region.

WFP also informed OIOS that it has strengthened its

post-distribution monitoring of food in the region

through the appointment of seven female food

monitors.

31. Distribution of food items is conducted on a

monthly or bimonthly basis, with refugees lining up for

their rations with their ration cards. Rations are often

incomplete and delivery of supplies sometimes

delayed, with little or no notice given to the refugees

who depend on these supplies for basic survival. When

distributions are made, refugees pay close attention to

ensure that no one gets more than the entitlement.

However, the distributors often have items left over

after distribution because some refugees have moved or

are out of the camp on that day. While the ration

distribution is monitored by several people and records

are kept, in each of the camps visited by the

Investigation Team it is clear that there is some

discretionary power among the men who control the

ultimate distribution of any excess rations. Although

the food is supplied by WFP and stored in its

warehouse, and UNHCR has responsibility for

distribution, the actual distribution is undertaken by an

NGO, while the transportation of the food is done by

another NGO working in close collaboration. Refugee

or national casual staff are regularly hired for these

purposes.

WFP comments that rations are rarely insufficient but

acknowledges that this might occur when there is a

break in the pipeline, that is, inadequate pledges from

donors or delays in the arrival of the shipments. WFP

stated that the regional operation is now enjoying a

much higher level of resources and that donor pledges

are now covering a very high percentage of the

requirements.

In relation to surplus food during distribution, WFP

stated that the quantities distributed are closely

monitored. To strengthen the control, post-distribution

monitoring of food entitlements in refugee camps has

been enhanced and an agreement in this regard has

been signed by WFP, UNHCR and its implementing

partners.

32. The refugees vented their frustration and anger

about the quality and the quantity of food in a widely

reported riot at one of the camps in Guinea earlier this

year, with shouting, threats and stone throwing an d the

subsequent looting of all the food in the WFP

warehouse.

6. Education

33. Most teachers are male, and many are themselves

refugees; few women are in the schools and those who

are tend not to be teachers, but may serve as a

counsellor, librarian or cook. In Liberia, the women’s

committees in the camps near Monrovia have

established morning childcare programmes for

toddlers, where they are taught singing, the alphabet

and some words. Although those women lack formal

training this allows the mothers time to go to training

courses themselves or to use that time to find ways of

increasing their income. The Investigation Team heard

a number of reports that teachers had threatened to

withhold passing or good grades unless girls of 14 or

15 years agreed to have sex with them. These stories

were difficult to confirm. One girl who talked to the

Team was told by her brother to say nothing. In

addition, the girls were reluctant to implicate the

teachers, who were still in positions of authority and

could retaliate.

34. In one case, the Investigation Team established

the existence of a relationship between a refugee girl

and her teacher, himself a refugee. The girl’s mother

told the Team that, although the man has other wives

and is much older than her daughter, she had to consent

to the relationship because of the material benefits

accruing from it. The teacher has since returned to his

country of origin and the Investigation Team’s attempts

to locate his whereabouts there have not been

successful.

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35. The teachers in the camps visited do not sign

formal contracts of employment and only receive a

stipend for their services. This practice leads to a

significant lack of morale and commitment, and a

substandard level of service. Refugees are eligible for

free education up to the end of primary school,

although even this is threatened by the lack of funds. A

limited number of scholarships are available for the

lucky few — who are predominantly male.

7. Security

36. Although security in the camps is the

responsibility of the Government, the Team received

many reports that the security staff were inadequate.

There were unverified allegations that they are

sometimes responsible for sexual misconduct and had

facilitated the escape from custody of men charged

with sexual violence. To the extent that the camp has

security, it is often organized in a limited way by the

refugees themselves. In a number of camps, the

Investigation Team did not notice any visible security.

In some camps the Team observed uniformed men

manning the entrance into the camps. Access to the

camps by non-refugees is still possible, however,

because of the porous perimeters.

37. Medical staff in the camp reported that crimes

such as rape of children are committed in the camps

with impunity; the weak and the particularly vulnerable

and exposed to such violence. They reported that three

to five incidents of rape occur in the camps on some

days. UNHCR field staff also reported a high incidence

of rape cases. Some cases involving rapes of children

aged between 5 and 10 years by adult refugees have

been reported to the police for prosecution, but most

are settled privately by the parties and some are

referred to the sexual and gender-based violence teams

run by NGOs in the camps for support and counselling.

8. Refugee employment

38. Non-governmental organizations and UNHCR

occasionally hire refugees in the camps for liaison or

day jobs. For example, for receipt of food items, day

labourers are hired to unload the trucks conveying the

food and place it in a warehouse or other location for

storage until distribution. Day labour is also used in

shelter programmes for the fabrication of the materials

for the shelters, including the making of mud and straw

bricks and the poles used for support. Other building

proje cts also use day labour but it is almost always the

male refugees who are hired.

39. As a result, the ability of a woman or girl to

support herself and her children, even with the

entitlements provided, is severely limited. Training

programmes aimed at women are often unsuccessful

because there are no jobs for them to use their skills, or

else insufficient funds are available in the community

to support their small business attempts.

40. The camp structure is patriarchal, and there are

few opportunities for women to find means to support

themselves and their children. Young women who have

lost their families in war, either through death or

separation, are especially vulnerable to sexual violence

and exploitation. As they find themselves with no

means to protect or support themselves, many resort to

prostitution as the only available avenue for survival.

41. In summary, the situation of refugees in the

camps — indeed the situation of refugees and

internally displaced persons generally — is ripe for

sexual violence and exploitation by other refugees, aid

workers, and nationals they meet outside the camp

environs, as sex is the only service left to trade with.

V. Conclusion

42. The Investigation Team established that the

consultants had raised an important issue and thereby

provoked a heightened sense of awareness in the

international community of the potential for sexual

exploitation of victims of forced displacement by those

who are supposed to palliate their suffering. The

Investigation Team found, however, that the impression

given in the consultants’ report that sexual exploitation

by aid workers, in particular sex for services, was

widespread is misleading and untrue. None of the

specific stories cited against aid workers named in the

consultants’ report could be confirmed despite a sixmonth-

long effort by the Investigation Team — for

reasons previously cited in this report. Furthermore,

refugees and aid workers interviewed in the course of

the investigation were unanimous in stating that sexual

exploitation in the context used in the consultants’

report is not widespread. The relationships perceived as

exploitative by the consultants were in most cases

relationships between refugees.

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43. Further, in raising the issue of sexual

exploitation, the consultants did not distinguish

between the various forms of sexual relationships and

contacts that can exist. For example, no distinction was

made between cases involving persons in power or

authority taking advantage of female refugees and

those involving adult prostitution.

44. In addition, many people interviewed by the

consultants are not refugees falling within the purview

of the UNHCR mandate. Some are local street children

while others are internally displaced persons. This

investigation was conducted in relation to refugees and

aid workers only as provided by the mandate of OIOS.

OIOS recognizes, however, that sexual exploitation of

vulnerable population occurs — and not just in West

Africa but throughout the world.

UNHCR has acknowledged that the original

consultants’ report contains wrong and misleading

information in its reference to persons of concern to

UNHCR. It incorrectly includes internally displaced

persons and host communities as persons of concern to

UNHCR in the subregion by referring to them all as

refugees. UNHCR added that the status of a person in

relation to UNHCR is crucial to determining whether

the person is entitled to UNHCR assistance.

UNICEF has expressed its concern that the focus of the

investigation was female refugees under the age of 18

excluding other vulnerable persons like internally

displaced persons, women over the age of 18 and those

not directly benefiting from international aid

programmes like street children.

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian

Affairs also commented that many of the risks and

vulnerabilities highlighted in the report apply equally

to internally displaced persons, host community

situations, camps and settlements as well as refugees.

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian

Affairs expressed the view that these broader problems

need to be further addressed on behalf of the

humanitarian community.

45. Another point of note was that the consultants did

not seem to distinguish between cases of sexual

exploitation arising from positions of power in the aid

community and war-related sex crimes such as rape.

Refugee women and girls told the Investigation Team

that many of them, or members of their families, had

been victims of rape during the war or victimized by

other refugees.

46. By reporting, with little or no evidence, that

sexual exploitation is widespread, the consultants

unfairly tarnished the reputation and credibility of the

large majority of aid workers, national and

international staff of United Nations agencies and

NGOs and United Nations peacekeepers in West

Africa. This is very unfortunate as most of them work

in extremely difficult conditions and demanding

circumstances, and their continuing commitment and

efforts are vital to the humanitarian operations in West

Africa.

47. The Investigation Team found, however, that

early detection of problems in this area could be

improved. It was observed that, when a case is brought

to the attention of management in UNHCR, the

Department of Peacekeeping Operations, or other

international agencies or NGOs, management tends to

act relatively quickly in an attempt to discover what

actually happened. In some cases the first report did

not come to the organization concerned but went to the

local police or other body set up to deal with genderbased

and/or family violence. The organization which

first receives the report may attend to other priorities

before disseminating the report to other functional

and/or organizational entities, which need to be

involved as early as possible. In this regard, clear lines

of reporting for all organizations which need early

notification, whether they are responsible for the victim

or the perpetrator, have not been well established.

48. Many persons spoken to by the Investigation

Team held the view that prostitution is a matter of

survival and that there is little that can be done about

members of the international community, including

private contractors, being involved in it. They also

consider that it is a private matter in which

management should not interfere. This view is

inappropriate and ignores the inherently unequal status

of the persons involved, especially when United

Nations or NGO staff members are implicated.

49. The Team found that there was no encouragement

for staff or other persons to report ethical issues to

management, nor for that matter is there a particular

office or person with whom this type of problem can be

discussed. However, there is some evidence that this is

changing with the corrective measures being

implemented by the UNHCR country offices and their

partners. In the case of the peacekeeping mission in

Sierra Leone, the Office of the Special Representative

of the Secretary -General has instituted a Personal

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Conduct Committee to look into cases of misconduct,

including sexual exploitation, involving the civilian

and military personnel of UNAMSIL.

UNAMSIL confirms that the Committee was formally

constituted in August 2002 to replace the previous

misconduct committee. Its terms of reference include

receiving allegations of misconduct by Mission

personnel and recommending investigation by the

appropriate Mission authorities of all allegations of

misconduct, sexual exploitation or abuse against

women and children by UNAMSIL personnel.

OIOS notes that the reporting relationship between

UNAMSIL headquarters and field operations produced

only one allegation of sexual exploitation. With 17,500

soldiers, 14,000 in the field, this seems more indicative

of a poor reporting system than of a lack of cases.

50. The Investigation Team observed that in some

cases NGOs did not have codes of conduct. Even

where they do exist, they are not well known to their

staff, do not seem to be routinely adhered to and may

not include conduct involving sexual exploitation.

51. OIOS wishes to acknowledge the support and

assistance received by the Investigation Team from

UNAMSIL management, the various NGOs and

UNHCR staff at headquarters, regional offices, branch

offices and the field offices in the countries visited.

The efforts now being taken to improve reporting and

detecting of cases are noted, but more needs to be

done.

52. OIOS commends the ongoing action by the Office

for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs to put

consistent preventive measures in place, as well as

action taken by the NGOs, UNHCR and UNAMSIL to

address the problem of sexual exploitation. Codes of

conduct prohibiting exploitation are being put in place

and action is being taken against staff members

suspected of involvement in sexual exploitation.

Sensitization training for staff and for refugees to res ist

and report exploitation when it occurs has commenced

in all three countries.

53. OIOS has further noted efforts undertaken by the

three representatives of UNHCR and the West African

Regional Coordinator to build ongoing programmes to

protect refugee wo men and girls from exploitation and

to provide mechanisms for better reporting and

resolution of cases that do occur. Indeed, new cases

reported are receiving direct attention at the most

senior levels. Plans are in hand to strengthen the

protection work of UNHCR in the regions and to have

a more visible presence in the camps. In Guinea, for

example, action being taken by the country office

includes the establishment of inter-agency task forces

to address sexual exploitation. Measures are also being

taken to review the camp environment with a view to

curbing sexual exploitation and sexual and genderbased

violence, especially as they relate to the

equitable provision of food, shelter, sanitary facilities,

education, security and protection. The complaints

handling procedures are also being reviewed.

54. Similarly, in Liberia, the UNHCR office and its

implementing partners have adopted a plan of action

based on the UNHCR headquarters Framework of

Action to tackle the issue of sexual exploitation,

including the discouragement of relationships between

aid workers and refugees through a staff rotation

system, and training aid workers and refugees on

sexual and gender-based violence and sexual

exploitation. Refugees are also being encouraged to

engage in agriculture to supplement their food rations.

Action is being taken to improve other sectors of the

camp environment that may result in sexual

exploitation like shelter, education and food

distribution.

UNHCR has further advised OIOS that in Sierra Leone

the inter-agency Coordination Committee for the

Prevention of Sexual Exploitation has formulated a

humanitarian community action plan and standards of

accountability to govern the conduct of all staff;

community/agency reporting systems and training and

empowerment initiatives have also been put in place.

Within the overall humanitarian community’s action

plan, UNHCR Sierra Leone in collaboration with its

implementing partners has formulated a plan of action

to minimize the risks of exploitation in every sector of

Liberian refugee and Sierra Leonean returnee

operations. Building on existing sexual and genderbased

violence programmes, initiatives have been

undertaken in training, mass information, codes of

conduct, protection reception days and increasing

beneficiaries’ access to UNHCR staff in camps and

communities. UNHCR is trying to improve refugee

shelter standards through various measures, such as

increasing the size and providing separate adult and

child quarters. Post -distribution monitoring has been

put in place by food pipeline agencies and UNHCR. A

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proposed legal framework will include employment and

other refugee rights.

OIOS urges UNHCR and its implementing partners to

take the suggested measures to protect female refugees

from sexual exploitation and to provide programmes

wherein refugees can file complaints without fear of

exposure or retaliation.

VI. Recommendations

55. OIOS makes the following recommendations:

Recommendation 1: The Inter-Agency Standing

Committee (IASC), co-chaired by the Office for the

Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and UNICEF,

must continue to play a prominent and essential role in

working with all of the humanitarian organizations and

agencies to ensure that appropriate and standard norms

are included in their respective codes of conduct

specifically prohibiting sexual exploitation and

imposing sanctions for violations of the code. In this

regard it is recommended that the Office for the

Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs take the lead in

coordinating and harmonizing the codes of conduct, not

just for West Africa but also in all other regions. (Rec.

No. IV01/454/01)*

UNICEF agrees with this recommendation and

confirms that a Task Force on Protection from Sexual

Exploitation and Abuse in Humanitarian Crises

established by IASC is already implementing this and

most of the other recommendations in this report. The

need for clear ethical standards and improved

mechanisms of accountability is one of the major

priorities for the Task Force.

UNHCR also agrees with this recommendation and

stated that its recently published code of conduct is in

conformity with the recommendations agreed in the

framework of the IASC Ta sk Force. UNHCR will

continue to support the follow-up to the Task Force’s

Plan of Action.

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian

Affairs acknowledged the value of the recommendation

and confirmed that a plan of action has already been

prepared by the IASC Task Force to address these

concerns, including the harmonization of codes of

conduct for United Nations and non-United Nations

personnel (annex I).

Recommendation 2: It is further recommended to the

Inter-Agency Standing Committee that a report be

provided to the General Assembly before the end of the

fifty-seventh session on the measures put in place.

(Rec. No. IV01/454/02)

Recommendation 3: Aid agencies, international

organizations and NGOs should do more to address the

issue of intimate relationships between their staff and

the refugees they care for. In this regard it is

recommended that the Inter-Agency Standing

Committee coordinate with the relevant entities the

appointment within each organization of focal points in

the field so that staff members who propose to enter

into relationships with refugees must disclose such

relationships. (Rec. No. IV01/454/03)

UNHCR confirmed that its revised code of conduct

specifically provides for the disclosure of relationships

for appropriate guidance even if they are deemed

consensual and not exploitative.

Recommendation 4: UNHCR should coordinate with

other aid agencies and NGOs ways by which refugees

can quickly report exploitation in confidence and with

anonymity if desired. Although there have been

improvements, OIOS has observed the ad hoc nature of

the reporting systems and the need for early detection.

In this regard, it is recommended that UNHCR appoint

a person to set up an independent reporting system to

reach into the refugee camps and communities. All

reported cases should be brought to the attention of a

designated focal point in UNHCR for effective

monitoring. (Rec. No. IV01/454/04)

UNHCR commented that branch offices in Sierra

Leone and Guinea have established centres in refugee

camps to receive complaints. UNHCR protection staff

have also established counselling centres in the camps.

Furthermore, the UNHCR office of the Inspector

General has established mechanisms for the

confidential reporting of sexual exploitation by staff

and non-staff.

Recommendation 5: UNHCR and its implementing

partners should put in place clear procedures and

guidelines for the investigation of sexual exploitation

of refugees and other related conduct which include

reporting all such instances to the UNHCR Inspector

General for appropriate monitoring. The office of the

* The numbers in parentheses in this section refer to an

internal code used by OIOS for recording

recommendations.

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Inspector General should conduct periodic spotchecking

and undertake appropriate follow-up to

ensure compliance. (Rec. No. IV01/454/05)

Recommendation 6: UNHCR and its implementing

partners should sensitize the refugee population on

sexual exploitation. In addition much more information

should be provided on the nature and extent of refugee

entitlements to the various forms of aid available. The

programme implemented in Liberia could serve as a

regional model. (Rec. No. IV01/454/06)

UNHCR informed OIOS that UNHCR staff and

implementing partners have been sensitized on sexual

exploitation. Additionally, awareness campaigns were

conducted for female refugees and their leaders.

Refugees have been made aware of their free

entitlement to humanitarian assistance.

Recommendation 7: UNHCR in collaboration with its

implementing partners should conduct a comprehensive

review of the services provided to refugees, especially

in the areas of food distribution, employment

opportunities, security, health services and shelter.

UNHCR needs to take measures to ensure that the

distribution of food and non -food items by aid agencies

is closely monitored to prevent future abuse and

exploitation. The involvement of women in the

dis tribution process needs to be significantly enhanced.

(Rec. No. IV01/454/07)

UNHCR confirmed that it has undertaken a

comprehensive review of all services in collaboration

with its implementing partners. UNHCR staff are now

required to be present at all distribution times and the

involvement of women in the distribution of food and

non- food items has been enhanced.

Recommendation 8: UNHCR should take steps to

ensure that recruitment of refugees for jobs in the

camps by aid agencies is equitably and transparently

undertaken without any discrimination, particularly on

the grounds of gender. (Rec. No. IV01/454/08)

UNHCR stated that it has recruited additional field

staff including females. UNHCR further stated that its

plan of action, which is being implemented and in some

measure has already been implemented, addresses

these areas (annex II).

Recommendation 9: WFP should urgently take steps

to improve on the nature and quantity of food supplied

to refugees in the region, paying attention to the dietary

require ments of the refugees. It should also tighten its

current procedures for excess food to prevent those

with access to it from using this in exchange for sex.

(Rec. No. IV01/454/09)

WFP noted that its food distribution policy is based on

a consensus and extensive consultations with all

humanitarian actors in the region — United Nations

agencies, NGOs and donors. The quality and

energy/protein/fat/micronutrient levels of the rations

are in line with WHO, WFP and UNHCR guidelines

resulting from the UNHCR/WFP/donors joint needs

assessment missions.

Recommendation 10: UNHCR and the NGOs should

have a more visible presence in the camps, increasing

the number of field staff working inside the refugee

camps so as to better monitor camp activities and to

ensure that the refugees are indeed receiving the

services to which they are entitled. (Rec. No.

IV01/454/10)

UNHCR responded that it has increased its presence in

the camps, including senior staff.

Recommendation 11 : UNHCR, with its implementing

partners for the provision of medical services in the

camps, should take measures to staff the clinics with

sufficient and qualified personnel and to have a

comprehensive preventive and curative programme.

Furthermore, the clinics need to be properly equipped.

(Rec. No. IV01/454/11)

Recommendation 12: UNHCR, with its implementing

partners responsible for shelter, should give adequate

attention to the gender distribution, age and number of

persons in households in allocating shelter to families.

The practice of accommodating male and female adults

with children in the same room may lead to abuse.

(Rec. No. IV01/454/12)

Recommendation 13: UNHCR should review the

current vehicle identification system with a view to

clearly distinguishing UNHCR vehicles from the

vehicles of its implementing partners. This would make

it easier for victims of sexual exploitation to identify

the agency for which a perpetrator works. (Rec. No.

IV01/454/13)

Recommendation 14: UNHCR should ensure that

NGOs in the camps keep proper records including

photographs of staff they recruit on a casual or

permanent basis to make it easier to identify any NGO

staff involved in sexual exploitation or other

wrongdoing. (Rec. No. IV01/454/14)

19

A/57/465

Recommendation 15: UNHCR, in collaboration with

the host Governments, should take steps to improve the

security in the camps by increasing the security

personnel and providing modern security and

communication equipment and transportation for

patrols. (Rec. No. IV01/454/15)

UNHCR has taken measures on all of these issues (see

annex II). UNHCR, in collaboration with host

Governments, is specifically undertaking a review of

camp security, and police posts with 24-hour police

presence are being established in the camps.

Recommendation 16: The Department of

Peacekeeping Operations should examine the gaps that

exist in the procedures for reporting sex-related

offences when peacekeepers are accused. The parties

and agencies necessary to the proper resolution of

cases involving sex offences need to be clearly

identified. Key personnel should be in regular contact

so that any new matter is raised and attended to

forthwith. The office of the Provost Marshal should be

notified of all such incidents to ensure that thorough

investigations can be conducted and to track the cases

for evidence of patterns of behaviour (Rec. No.

IV01/454/16)

UNICEF suggested that the Department of

Peacekeeping Operations should take affirmative steps

to curb abuse by peacekeepers and to ensure that

appropriate action is taken in proven cases of abuse or

exploitation.

The Department of Peacekeeping Operations informed

OIOS that the UNAMSIL Personnel Conduct

Committee is to have a dedicated communications

channel widely known to the local population to

receive allegations against UNAMSIL civilian and

military personnel (OIOS suggests that this mechanism

should be extended to all peacekeeping missions).

Recommendation 17: The Department of

Peacekeeping Operations should ensure that protocols

for criminal investigations and liaison with local

authorities are established for UNAMSIL civilian and

military personnel who may be accused of a crime.

(Rec. No. IV01/454/17)

The Department of Peacekeeping Operations advised

OIOS that relations between a mission and the host

authorities and respective rights and responsibilities

are defined in the status-of-forces and status-of-mission

agreements or under a memorandum of understanding

with regard to relations between the United Nations

and troop-contributing countries.

OIOS reinforces the view that such protocols should be

carefully reviewed to ensure that adequate mechanisms

are in place for the investigation of criminal conduct by

UNAMSIL military personnel with a provision for

referral to the jurisdiction of the troop-contributing

country to deal with such cases. For civilian staff, they

should be subject to the same legal requirements as all

United Nations staff, including possible criminal

prosecution as appropriate.

The Department of Peacekeeping Operations confirms

that current procedures in peacekeeping missions

require that all cases of misconduct by military

personnel be brought to the attention of a Provost

Marshal for investigation. Allegations of misconduct

against civilian staff members are investigated and

dealt with in accordance with United Nations rules and

regulations.

To strengthen the awareness and accountability of all

mission personnel in relation to exploitation and

abuse, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations

informed OIOS that it is currently reviewing its existing

policies, procedures and guidelines on disciplinary

issues. Updated guidelines have also been prepared on

various aspects of standards of behaviour of mission

personnel, including investigation procedures and

follow-up with troop- and police-contributing

countries.

(Signed) Dileep Nair

Under-Secretary- General for

Internal Oversight Services

20

 

Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures): True Stories from a War Zone Paperback – 4 May 2006

by Andrew Thomson (Author),‎
 

Heidi Postlewait (Author),‎ Kenneth Cain (Author)

It's the early 1990s and three young people are looking to change their lives, and perhaps also the world. Attracted to the ambitious global peacekeeping work of the UN, Andrew, Ken and Heidi's paths cross in Cambodia, from where their fates are to become inextricably bound. Over the coming years, their stories interweave through countries such as Rwanda, Bosnia, Somalia and Haiti - war-torn, lawless places where the intervention of the UN is needed like nowhere else. Driven by idealism, the three struggle to do the best they can, caught up in an increasingly tangled web of bureaucracy and ineffectual leadership. As disillusionment sets in, they attempt to keep hold of their humanity through black humour, revelry and 'emergency sex'.

Brutal and moving in equal measure, Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures) explores pressing global issues while never losing a sense of the personal. Deeply critical of the West's indifference to developing countries and the UN's repeated failure to intervene decisively, the book provoked massive controversy on its initial publication. Kofi Annan called for the book to be banned, and debate was sparked about the future direction of the UN. Brilliantly written and mordantly funny, it is a book that continues to make waves.


Struggling to Survive

.Sexual Exploitation of Displaced Women

and Girls in Port au Prince, Haiti

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

I. SUMMARY................................................................................................. 1

II. METHODOLOGY........................................................................................ 5

A. Sources and Methods ...............................................................................................5

B. Definitions..................................................................................................................5

C. Interviews ..................................................................................................................6

1. Focus of Interviews..............................................................................................7

2. Conduct of Interviews ..........................................................................................7

III. FINDINGS: SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF WOMEN AND GIRLS IN PORT AU

PRINCE................................................................................................... 9

A. Prevalence of Sexual Exploitation.............................................................................9

B. Circumstances of Exploitation .................................................................................11

C. Factors of Vulnerability to Sexual Exploitation ........................................................13

D. Effects of Sexual Exploitation..................................................................................14

E. Barriers to Addressing Sexual Exploitation .............................................................15

1. Accessing Judicial Remedies ............................................................................15

2. Accessing Medical Certificates ..........................................................................17

3. Reporting Sexual Violence to Police..................................................................18

4. Lack of Documentation and Understanding of the Issue ...................................18

F. Services for Women and Girls Engaged in Survival Sex.........................................19

IV. LEGAL ANALYSIS ................................................................................. 21

A. The Act of Survival Sex ...........................................................................................21

1. Sexual Exchange as an Abuse of Power or Authority .......................................21

2. Sexual Exchange in the Absence of an Abuse of Power or Authority ...............23

B. Instances when Payment is Refused after Survival Sex has Occurred ..................24

C. Protections Concerning Abuses Commonly Occurring Alongside Survival Sex .....25

1. Laws Prohibiting Rape.......................................................................................26

2. Laws Prohibiting Physical and Psychological Harms ........................................28

D. Protections for Minors Engaged in Sexual Exchange .............................................29

V. CONCLUSIONS & RECOMMENDATIONS..................................................... 30

VI. APPENDIX............................................................................................. 33

A. The Draft Law’s Treatment of Prostitution...............................................................33

B. Draft Law Provisions Related to Victims of Violence...............................................34


BEYOND SHOCK

Charting the landscape of sexual violence in post-quake Haiti:

Progress, Challenges & Emerging Trends 2010-2012

Anne-christine d’Adesky with PotoFanm+Fi

Foreword by Edwidge Danticat | Photo essay by Nadia Todres

Charting the landscape of sexual violence

in post-quake Haiti 2010-2012

(ABRIDGED VERSION)

Table of Contents

I. Executive Summary …………………………………………………………………………………………8

II. Foreword by Edwidge Danticat………………………………………………………………….……13

III. About This Report……………………………………………………………………………………….….15

IV. Introduction and Discussion……………………………………………………………………………23

V. Sector Progress……………………………………………………………………………………………….35

a. Prevention, Community Education, Advocacy: Rebuilding A Movement ….36

i. Box: Inestimable Losses……………………………………………………………………..36

ii. Box: Haiti’s Women’s Ministry(MCFDF) & UN GBv Sub-Cluster………….37

iii. The National Dialogue on Violence Against Women…………………………..40

iv. Gender Action: Follow the Money………………………………………………………45

v. Fighting Media Hype…………………………………………………………………………..48

vi. Portraits in Leadership: Carol Pierre-Paul Jacob, SOFA……………………….50

vii. Global Allies: WE-LEAD Heartland Alliance………………………………………….52

b. Reporting and Monitoring……………………………………………………………………..54

i. Box: Comparative Data Tables……………………………………………………………..60

ii. Unofficial Picture………………………………………………………………………………...61

iii. Rural Programs: Box: SOFA and SOFA Sud-Est……………………………………..65

c. Research…………………………………………………………………………………………………67

i. Box: Violence Against Children Study- VACS (US CDC/INURED/ GoH)..….69

ii. Box: NYU CHRGJ: Lessons of field research…………………………………………..70

iii. New Tracking Tools: Mobile SMS………………………………………………..………...73

iv. Box: Digital Democracy………………………………………………………………………….73

d. Vulnerable Populations……………………………………………………………………………75

i. Spotlight on Girls…………………………………………………………………………….……75

ii. Box: Haiti Adolescent Girls Network (HAGN)…………………………………………..77

iii. Box: Lidè project…………………………………………………………………………………....79

iv. Sex Workers……………………………………………………………………………………………84

v. Box: ANAPFEH…………………………………………………………………………………..…….85

vi. Spotlight on Men and Boys……………………………………………………………………..87

vii. Teachers and Priests: Help, Don’t Harm……………………………………………………88

viii. Box: ADHESE Men’s group……………………………………………………………….……….88

ix. Child Protection: Orphans, Street Children, Restaveks…………………….………91

x. Box: Limye Lavi……… ……………………………………………………………….……….…….…94

xi. Box: Box: Haitian Prison Ministry…………………………………………………..…………..95

xii. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT)……………………….……………….96

xiii. Box: Portraits in Leadership: Shelly Moreau, FACSDIS………………………………….98

xiv. Gaps in Prevention: Perpetrators…………………………………….………….…………...99

xv. Box: Haitian Prison Ministry…………………………………………………………………..….101

xvi. The Disabled………………………………………………………………………………………….....102

e. Security………………………………………………………………………………………………..…….107

i. Box: Haitian National Police Gender Violence Unit (UCL FVVof HNP) ………..113

3

Beyond Shock Haiti GBV Progress Report. Abridged Version. ゥ Nov. 2012 All Rights Reserved. www.potofanm.org

f. Housing (B) Safe Houses……………………………………………………………………………….116

i. Box: Women’s House (Kay Fanm)………………………………………………………………...116

ii. Commission of Women Victims for Victims (KOFAVIV)………………………………...119

iii. Box: Women of the Sun (AFASDA)/V-Day…………………………………………………….123

iv. Portraits in Leadership: Jayne Fleming, Esq…………………………………………………..126

g. Legal Justice……………………………………………………………………………………….………….128

i. The UN MINUSTAH Scandals…………………………………………………………………………131

ii. Box: Rape Accountability and Prevention Project (RAPP) –BAI………………………134

iii. Box: MADRE…………………………………………………………………………………………………..137

iv. Box: PROJUSTICE’s Little Houses of Justice…………………………………………………….140

h. Post-Rape Health Care…………………………………………………………………………………….141

i. Box: SART – Sexual Assault Response Team model…………………………………………145

ii. Needed: Simpler Guidelines for Low-No Resource Settings…………………………….146

i. Reproductive Health………………………………………………………………………………………..147

i. Box: Zanmi Lasante/Partners In Health (ZL/PIH)………………………………………………149

ii. Box: WHO Free Obstetric Care (SOG)…………………………………………………………….…153

j. Mental Health ………………………………………………………………………………………………….159

i. Haitian Led Research………………………………………………………………………………………..162

ii. Portraits in Leadership: Rosaline Benjamin, IDEO and URAMEL………………………...163

VI. Concluding Comments………………………………………………………………………………………………....164

VII. Recommendations………………………………………………………………………………………………………..167

VIII. Annex …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..174

I. Selected References and Studies Cited……………………………………………………………….……………174

II. GBV Reference Card (Kat Referans)…………………………………………………………………………………176

III. Summary Report: The PotoFi Haiti Girls Initiative Adolescent GBV Survey…..………………177__

The scale of sex abuse at the hands of UN workers could be huge. The shocking fact is paedophiles target aid organisations

In early 2017 the United Nations Secretary General admitted to 145 incidents involving 311 victims in 2016 alone, mainly in peace operations. Many of the victims were children