UN Sex Abuse Whistleblower Resigns

 

A U.N. whistleblower, who was suspended for leaking a confidential report alleging sexual abuse by peacekeepers in Africa, has resigned over what he says is the organization’s failure to hold senior officials accountable.

Anders Kompass served as the director of field operations for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Kompass leaked a confidential U.N. report to French authorities alleging that 14 French soldiers assigned to a peacekeeping force in the Central African Republic sexually abused a number of children between eight and 15 years of age.

Kompass has said that he shared the report with the goal of ending the abuses and prompting French authorities to launch an investigation, since the crimes allegedly were committed by their national troops.

The abuses occurred over a seven-month period that ended nearly a year ago (from December 2013 to June 2014), yet none of the incidents were under investigation before Kompass leaked the report.

“The complete impunity for those who have been found to have, in various degrees, abused their authority, together with the unwillingness of the hierarchy to express any regrets for the way they acted towards me sadly confirms that lack of accountability is entrenched in the United Nations,” he told IRIN news.

“This makes it impossible for me to continue working there.”

Kompass was suspended last April by the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, who said he breached U.N. rules by releasing the report that contained the names of several children who were victimized.

An independent panel later exonerated Kompass and criticized the United Nations for its “gross institutional failure.” In January 2016 he was also cleared by an internal disciplinary hearing.

 

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