Allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse
Abidjan, 19 December 2009--In October 2009, the United Nations Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI) received allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse by military personnel deployed within the Mission area. These allegations refer to incidences that may have occurred as early as 2006 and appear to include minors.
UNOCI is extremely concerned and taking all possible measures to ensure that the matter is investigated urgently. On receipt of the allegations an assessment visit was conducted by the Mission in November 2009, in the area where the allegations reportedly occurred. The Investigation Division of the Office of Internal Oversight (OIOS) was immediately apprised of the matter.
The authorities of the country concerned have been informed by UN Headquarters and requested to carry out an investigation in accordance with the revised model memorandum of understanding between the UN and troop contributing countries (A/61/19 Part III). The personnel against whom the allegations have been made have returned to their country of origin on regular rotation.
The UN is committed to a zero tolerance policy with respect to sexual exploitation and abuse. UNOCI has already taken additional preventative measures to reinforce adherence to this policy.