MINUSCA and UN agencies strengthen response to sexual abuse

Monday, 01 May 2017

Bangui | MINUSCA

Consistent with the Secretary-General’s commitment to transparency and zero tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse across the United Nations system, the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Central African Republic (MINUSCA) and UN agencies operating in the Central African Republic (CAR) are making this a top priority - particularly in preventing abuse and providing assistance to victims.

Special attention is given to victims of sexual abuse under the age of 18, whose young lives can be devastated by traumatic experiences and early pregnancies. 

MINUSCA, in coordination with the UN agencies in the area, is scaling up prevention initiatives, which include conducting frequent sensitization activities for all personnel and informing the host population of the UN’s zero tolerance policy.

Resources have also been allocated to coordinate effective assistance to sexual exploitation and abuse victims, particularly minors. This includes medical, psychosocial, and housing provision from UN agencies and their partners. A list of victims and the services they need is regularly updated to ensure continuing support.

Despite these concrete steps, it is undeniable that in a country still challenged by ongoing armed violence and poor social structures, support for sexual abuse victims is far from optimal.

The whole UN system in CAR is working relentlessly to reduce the number of sexual exploitation and abuse cases to zero and to guarantee that every minor victim receives the support necessary to minimize the consequences of this despicable behavior.

In this regard, MINUSCA has initiated steps to nominate a Victims Rights Advocate, in line with the Secretary-General's directive, whose main task will be to represent and defend the interests of victims to ensure they receive the required care and protection.

Moreover, the Organization is working to end impunity by enforcing measures in the reporting, investigation, and follow-up of sexual abuse cases - particularly with troop and police-contributing countries - to hold perpetrators to account.