The United Nations today announced that it is investigating two cases of sexual exploitation of children allegedly committed by its police personnel in Haiti.
One case involves UN police officers in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince.
According to media reports, those officers have been removed from duty while under investigation.
The second case involves one or more members of a police unit in the northern city of Gonaives. The nationalities of the police or any other details were not disclosed.
“The United Nations is outraged by these allegations and takes its responsibility to deal with them extremely seriously.” – Mr. Nesirky
He added that the police contributing countries concerned have been informed. Furthermore, Mr. Nesirky reported that a UN team was dispatched to Haiti on Saturday to investigate the allegations.
The UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) stated in a news release that an investigation was immediately opened after the allegations were made.
Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of MINUSTAH Mariano Fernandez reiterated his commitment to uphold the policy of zero tolerance of abuse by the staff of the Mission.
The UN Peacekeeping department instituted a “zero tolerance” policy toward sexual abuse, a new code of conduct for its more than 110,000 Peacekeepers deployed around the world, and new training for officers and all UN personnel.
He stressed that each member of the UN personnel, whether he or she is a civilian, member of the military or police, must observe a standard of exemplary conduct.
The UN has a strategy in place to assist victims of exploitation and sexual abuse.
MINUSTAH, with almost 12,250 uniformed personnel currently on the ground, has been in the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere since mid-2004 after then president Jean-Bertrand Aristide went into exile amid violent unrest.