Aid Sex Abuse Crisis: Leaked letter shows the UN still insists on investigating itself, with no mention of child abusers being sent to police.
More words “Zero Tolerance” but little real action.
London March 9, 2018 – Immediate release
A leaked letter from the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, dated March 2nd, 2018 addressed to members of the United Nations’ Chief Executives Board, shows the United Nations still does not believe in prosecuting child abusers, hiding behind a wall of ‘internal investigations’ according to HearTheirCries.org.
“The secret UN letter sets out ‘concrete actions’ following the Oxfam sex abuse scandal, but only talks about internal doctrine, internal examinations and no reporting of perpetrators to the police”, says Andrew MacLeod, spokesman for Hear Their Cries, the organization set up to fight child abuse in Aid.
“This letter shows that the UN still doesn’t get it. Child abuse is a crime. Neither the abusers nor the abusers’ organization should investigate the accusations. The police should”, MacLeod says.
“This secret internal letter makes a mockery of the UN’s claim that it will not use legal immunity to avoid prosecution”, MacLeod says. “Of course, though, you don’t need legal immunity if you don’t even have a system in place to tell the police”, he says. “Maybe that is their plan?”
MacLeod publicly called on the UN to waive immunity on CNN’s Hala Gorani program in February this year (See interview here starting at 6:50 in: https://youtu.be/ZwQ7RM66F0g?t=9s).
In response to Macleod’s call, the UN’s spokesman responded with a tweet (attached) saying “Let’s be clear. The Answer is no. Sexual abuse is a crime. The UN does not and will not claim immunity in such cases”
Even though the spokesman implied that the UN does not use legal immunity, the organization has done precisely that in a number of cases.
The UN’s clear tweet also contrasts radically with a letter sent to Hear Their Cries’ lawyers back in October 2017.
“In October we wrote to the UN asking for their position on immunity for child sex crimes. In return, we received two pages of legal obfuscation so far removed from the UN’s clear tweet of ‘no immunity’. Now we find their internal letters still seeks to hide behind walls of ‘internal investigations”, MacLeod says.
“Forgive me for being cynical, but are they really taking this seriously? This is child abuse they are hiding from.”
At Monday’s ‘Safeguarding Summit’ held in London between the British government and overseas Aid charities, the UK’s Secretary of State for International Development, Penny Mordaunt mentioned the need for prosecution several times. Yet it seems the message has not been heard in the halls of the United Nations.
Some argue, though, that police forces in countries like Democratic Republic of Congo are not capable of handling child sex abuse claims against the UN.
Hear Their Cries points out that there is another solution in cases where local police forces do not or can not act.
Hear their Cries is lobbying to activate child sex tourism laws and have these ‘extra-territorial laws’ applied to the Aid sector, including the UN.
While most laws made by a government only apply in the country of the government, child sex laws in many countries, like the UK, US and Australia, apply all over the world. Child sex laws operate ‘extra-territorially’.
MacLeod, an Australian/British dual national and lawyer points out that the UN and other aid agencies can and must report child sex crimes not only to the local police, but to the police of the perpetrator’s home country.
“What the UN should be doing,” MacLeod says, “is reaching out to national police forces and setting up immediate reporting protocols to home police forces. So if a British, Australian, American, or German working for the UN is accused of a child sex crime, there should be no internal investigation. Instead, the accusations should be passed straight to the police in the UK, Australia, Germany, as well as the police in the country where the crime took place”.
“Only the police forces know how to gather evidence fast enough and in a way that will be accepted in front of a court for prosecution”, MacLeod says. “Only then will we see justice.
Hear Their Cries believes that internal investigations by the UN drag on so long that the evidentiary chain goes so cold, that no prosecution could ever take place, and hence the immunity issue doesn’t come in to play – so child rapists escape justice. It is this lack of prosecution that Hear Their Cries believes is such a strong reason why many predatory paedophiles are attracted to the aid industry.
The UK’s National Criminal Intelligence Service, the precursor to today’s NCA, which registers and monitors the activities of paedophiles, has warned as far back as 1999 that the scale of the problem of paedophiles in the aid world is on a level with sex tourism. Faced with legal safeguards in the United Kingdom and the United States, the men have found that it is easy to gain access to children in developing countries.
“This is why it is so important that police must be called in. This leaked internal letter shows that the UN is still avoiding responsibility for child sex crimes”, MacLeod concludes.