“No Second Chance” for Sexual Exploitation and Abuse
There will be no second chance for any United Nations personnel found guilty of committing sexual exploitation and abuse as a fresh campaign is launched to prevent and respond to this kind of misconduct in South Sudan.
The prevention of, and strong response to, cases of sexual exploitation and abuse is a top priority for the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). It has launched a new campaign that builds on the “zero tolerance” and “no excuses” stance taken by the United Nations Secretary-General with the Head of UNMISS declaring that there will also be “no second chance” for offenders.
The campaign puts victims’ rights at the center and focuses on strengthening investigations and reporting as well as increasing transparency.
Speaking at a training session for police officers on UNMISS’ standards of integrity and conduct, the Mission’s Chief of Conduct and Discipline (CDT), Mumbi Mathangani, reinforced the need for all personnel to understand that acts of sexual exploitation and abuse are serious human rights violations that require an urgent response.
“We looked at the Secretary-General’s approach which is about zero tolerance and no excuses. The UNMISS Special Representative of the Secretary-General, David Shearer, thought: Actually, what we are really saying is that there is no second chance. Once you commit misconduct, then that’s it.”
The United Nations has established a live misconduct database which allows Missions and UN Headquarters in New York to share information on cases of misconduct concerning UN personnel.
Mumbi Mathangani stressed that information on the database “does not expire. Once the information is there, it is simply there.” She added that “information will be shared broadly with the UN family and also with government. That makes a clear incentive for personnel not to engage in misconduct.”
To ensure that all UNMISS personnel know and uphold the highest standards of conduct, CDT will distribute ‘no excuses cards’ containing information on reporting misconduct and emphasizing the responsibility to report misconduct. This is in addition to the mandatory induction trainings provided to all UN peacekeepers.