More than 50 countries in the World Health Organization (WHO) this Friday they expressed their “worry”In view of the information that suggests that the leaders of the agency of the HIM-HER-IT they omitted to point out cases of sexual abuse committed by members of the organization.
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“We express our concern following media reports suggesting that WHO management was aware of cases of sexual exploitation, abuse and sexual harassment and failed to report them as required by the UN and WHO protocols.”, Underlines the text presented by Canada during the World Health Assembly and signed, among others, by the European Union, the United States and Brazil.
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The text is signed among others by the European Union, the United States, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala and Mexico. At least 53 countries signed the document.
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In mid-May, new allegations of sexual abuse allegedly committed by humanitarian workers, notably from the WHO, were made public in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
“Since January 2018, we have shown our deep concern over these allegations of sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment, as well as abuse of authority, in the activities of the WHO”Says this common statement.
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Member countries and WHO management, including its Director General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, “cinvested on this issue in a transparent and vigorous way” In the past week. Behind this diplomatic vocabulary there are certainly heated debates.
According to an investigation by the specialized agency The New Humanitarian (TNH) and the Thomson Reuters Foundation published on May 12, “22 women from the Congolese city of Butembo stated that male humanitarian workers who were on the scene due to an Ebola outbreak (…) offered them work in exchange for sex”.
Last year, a similar investigation in the city of Me uncovered 51 similar cases.
Fourteen of the womenstated that the men had identified themselves as WHO workers”, According to this investigation, which places the facts in 2019.
On Friday, the director general of the WHO took the floor before this text was published and recalled that he had created an independent commission that must deliver a report at the end of August to clarify these accusations.
“I speak on behalf of all my colleagues and the organization when I say that we take these allegations very seriously”, He guaranteed.
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