Media Release: Call for United Nations Goodwill Ambassadors to suspend – but not cancel – roles in light of sex abuse revelations.

Victims’ rights organization Hear Their Cries, calls upon actors to use Oscar Ceremony to extend #TimesUp to the United Nations and suspend – but not cancel – their goodwill ambassador roles until the UN meets sex abuse standards.


London Friday March 2, 2018. Embargoed until midday GMT, March 2nd.


Actors supporting #TimesUp and #MeToo should suspend – but not cancel – their celebrity ambassador roles with the UN, according to victims’ rights organization ‘Hear Their Cries’.


“We have seen recent revelations of sexual abuse by the UN – including child sexual abuse – going back decades”, says Hear Their Cries co-founder Andrew MacLeod.


“We believe these celebrity Ambassadors should suspend – but not cancel – their appointments”, MacLeod says.


“By suspending their appointments these ambassadors could work with the UN, set new standards on abuse prevention, prosecution and whistleblower protection and thereby be part of a solution that is desperately needed”, MacLeod, a former UN official, also a Visiting Professor at Kings College London says.


As Hollywood readies for this weekend’s Oscars, black dresses are being prepared to again show actors standing up against sexual abuse in their industry, proclaiming #TimesUp. But how far will their calls extend?


Advocates are now asking if now is the time up for sex abuse and child abuse in the Aid Industry – often supported by those same celebrities – to come into focus for the actors?


2017 and 2018 has been the years of the sex abuse scandals from Weinstein and #MeToo, #TimesUp calling for the end of abuse, to recent relations of sex abuse in the aid industry, including Oxfam, the UN and others.


Yet, many of the actors, male and female, who will grace this weekend’s red carpet have maintained their roles of UN Goodwill Ambassadors, despite the growing sex scandals – including child abuse – becoming public. Sex and child abuse has become public perpetrated by both civilians and soldiers wearing the Blue Helmet and Blue t-shirts of the UN, with the UN Secretary General saying that the problem is larger with civilian aid workers than it even is with peacekeeping soldiers.[1]


While Minnie Driver has quit Oxfam, what of those others that are still lending their name to the UN while the organization does not yet meet the standards of prevention, prosecution and protection of whistleblowers demanded by the #TimesUp and #MeToo movements?


High level profile actors who are also UN Ambassadors include:


  • Nicole Kidman
  • Liam Neeson
  • Helen Mirren
  • Emma Watson
  • Anne Hathaway
  • Angeline Jollie
  • Whoopie Goldberg
  • Cate Blanchet
  • Salena Gomez


Hear Their Cries was set up by former UN staff and whistleblowers to ‘hear the cries’ of whistleblowers in Aid and ‘hear the cries’ of child victims of sexual abuse in Aid ( Hear Their Cries recently estimated the victims of sexual exploitation, abuse and rape being at 60,000 in a decade. Whilst many have criticized their number, no one has yet discredited their estimate by coming up with a more researched number.


Hear Their Cries has released a detailed defense of their estimate (attached).


The UN has been challenged to come up with a more accurate number, but remains silent as to an estimation of victims, but concedes the admitted numbers are ‘just the tip of the iceberg’ and also concedes that abuse and rape against the UN go massively ‘underreported’.



For comment:


Peter Gallo (Scotland) +44 7719 063462

Andrew MacLeod (London) +44 7408 810 851

Abbe Jolles abbe@HeatTheirCires.orc (Washington DC) +12023528656








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