Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s Statement Offers no Protection for Victims of Sexual Abuse or the Whistleblowers who report it
(WASHINGTON) – Observers at the United Nations reported today to the Government Accountability Project (GAP) that Ban Ki-Moon has just announced an inquiry into allegations of sexual abuse against children in the Central African Republic (CAR). The alleged perpetrators were French troops, deployed under UN Security Council resolution 2127.
The announcement, which excludes any mention of whistleblowers, witnesses or reporting persons, sounds the correct rhetorical notes but actually offers no protection either to the victims of the abuse or to Anders Kompass, who reported the crimes. Nor is there any protection for Miranda Brown, a witness in the case who lost her job the day before she was to be interviewed about it.
The SG’s statement may pre-empt the adoption of a tough resolution, originally proposed by the Group of 77 (countries) even as European Union and US delegates were working to dilute it.
The Secretary General’s preemptive statement stands in stark contrast to the resolution proposed by the G77 earlier this week. Most importantly, the announcement offers no protection to the victims of the abuse or to the witnesses and whistleblowers who helped to expose the crimes against them; Turns an ‘investigation’ (which is rigorous) to an ‘inquiry’ (which is not);
The Government Accountability Project’s Executive Director, Beatrice Edwards, noted:
The Secretary General’s statement sounds the right notes, but it subtly transformed a substantive, action-oriented and corrective approach to this issue into a do-nothing, hand-wringing review that fails to oblige the Organization to correct past wrongs and avoid future ones.
Instead of taking action to identify those who failed to stop the abuses and discipline the assailants, the Secretariat serves up yet another review designed to produce “lessons learned” from this perverse and cruel episode in Africa.
The intention, voiced by the Secretary General, to field an inquiry, fails to help the high-ranking witnesses who ensured that the CAR report reached the appropriate authorities. One of them, in fact, was terminated the day before she was set to be interviewed about the case.
CONTACT: Andrew Harman, GAP Communications Director
(202) 457-0034 Ext. 156
Government Accountability Project
The Government Accountability Project is the nation’s leading whistleblower protection organization. Through litigating whistleblower cases, publicizing concerns and developing legal reforms, GAP’s mission is to protect the public interest by promoting government and corporate accountability. Founded in 1977, GAP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. GAP was consulted by U.N. management when the organization created its initial protection against retaliation policy and has advised several staff associations within the U.N. system about whistleblower protections.