Restoring dignity to victims of sexual abuse and exploitation


Projects supported by a UN trust fund for victims of sexual exploitation and abuse by UN personnel, are helping victims to regain their dignity, learn new skills, and improve their livelihoods.

Details of the projects, and the ways which they are having a positive effect on the lives of victims and children born as a result of sexual exploitation and abuse, are contained within the trust fund’s latest annual report, which was released on Monday. 

Over the past year, six projects were launched in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and, in Liberia, an education and vocational training project supported training of project leaders, and community meetings. 

A video released to coincide with the publication of the report, shows the effect a community project has had on the life of one of the victims, a young woman in eastern DRC, who has now learned to read and write, and to become self-sufficient by weaving, and selling, baskets.

Building bridges

The fund also supports community-based complaint networks in DRC, made up of representatives of women’s and youth associations, religious leaders, local chiefs and the police. 

These networks educate the community on the risks associated with sexual exploitation and abuse and how to report it, develop projects which support victims, and act as a bridge between communities of vulnerable people and the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the country (MONUSCO).

Introducing the annual report, Catherine Pollard, the UN Under Secretary-General for Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance, noted that, as well as contributions from 21 countries, the fund is financed by payments withheld from personnel, as a result of substantiated cases of sexual exploitation and abuse. The funding, she said, is “essential for the Trust Fund to continue to help restore the dignity of victims, break stigma, and facilitate their reintegration within their communities”.

Source: UN News