Newspaper article International New York Times

U.N. Wants Sexual Abuse Reported Immediately

Newspaper article International New York Times

U.N. Wants Sexual Abuse Reported Immediately

Article excerpt

Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, the high commissioner for human rights, has ordered subordinates to inform him of allegations of such abuse by peacekeepers.

Stung by a scandal at the United Nations over its failure to promptly protect child victims of sexual abuse by peacekeepers, the organization's top human rights official said that he had ordered subordinates to inform him immediately when allegations of such abuse first arise.

The official, Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, the high commissioner for Human Rights, said on Tuesday that his order applied to everyone down to the lowest-ranking field officers in his branch of the United Nations. It obliges them to jump the customary chain of command and communicate directly with him concerning instances of possible sexual abuse, even before all the facts are known.

"They write straight to me," Mr. al-Hussein said at the United Nations headquarters in New York. "Then the business of substantiating it, investigating it further, that can come, and I'm not going to interfere, but the thing is, I need to know right away. …

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