UN penalised whistle blowers, must probe sex abuse claims: Shocking revelations in documentary

A new documentary claims that United Nations employees were fired after reporting claims of sexual abuse made by coworkers, since the organisation is alleged to be “riddled with corruption.”

The UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, has been called to form an impartial panel to look into allegations that some women there have been “accosted, and raped.”

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He has also been requested to address a culture in which senior employees are allegedly shielded from complaints filed through official channels.

The BBC documentary ‘The Whistleblowers: Inside the UN’ explores claims of sexual abuse, management covering up misconduct, and corruption.

Whistleblower Peter Gallo stated in the documentary: “I worked as an investigator at the UN’s New York headquarters for four years. And as a result of that encounter, I am convinced that corruption permeates every level of the organisation.”

He described an instance in which a senior employee voiced concerns during a meeting after a female coworker had sobbedly approached him and accused him of sexual assault. According to Mr. Gallo, the complaints were dropped because the accused was “a favourite son.”

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Purna Sen departed her position as the organization’s spokeswoman on harassment, assault, and discrimination in the summer of 2020 after learning that her position would not be extended.

She claimed that there were UN employees who had been “accosted, approached, and raped.” She remarked that “the more they keep doing it,” the more men would be allowed to get away with it.

Senior staff members are exempt from all national laws under the UN’s protected legal status. However, this immunity is void if it is used for the staff members’ personal gain.

A third of the workers reported being the victims of sexual harassment:

Sen claimed in the documentary that although an “astonishing” third of UN employees reported experiencing sexual harassment at work, the vast majority of incidents went unreported.

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The BBC documentary claims that employees who attempted to report the allegations suffered consequences, with some being let go.

According to the UN Secretary General’s office, “sanctioning any personnel, junior or senior, found to have engaged in sexual harassment” is still a top priority.


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