United Nations employees are guilty of dozens of cases of sexual abuse of both women and children, which the organization itself has helped to cover-up, according to U.N. human rights official and whistleblower Anders Kompass.
Kompass, director of field operations for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, or OHCHR, told Reuters in an exclusive interview that U.N. staff fear losing their jobs if they speak out about sex abuse in the field, something the organization desperately needs to address.
Kompass himself was suspended last April after he brought to light a series of child sex abuses by French U.N. troops in the Central African Republic.
When no action was taken to address the issue, Kompass passed along confidential documents to French officials, which resulted in his suspension. The U.N. said he had breached protocol by sharing secret internal documents.
However, it was not until Kompass passed on the files to the French that any investigation into the allegations began.
The Swedish OHCHR official faced the possibility of dismissal, until he was exonerated after two panel hearings earlier this month.
After he was cleared, Kompass told Reuters that he received over 100 emails of support from colleagues, many of which said they had been “similarly treated” by the international organization.
“I am receiving 30 or 40 messages per day from people in U.N. peace missions,” Kompass told Reuters. “Many refer to having experienced reprisals or even dismissals after witnessing sexual exploitation and abuse within the U.N.”
Brief history of UN peacekeepers and sex abuse allegations: https://t.co/BGHz52VGqQ— Samira Sawlani (@samirasawlani) January 12, 2016
UN Peacekeeper sex abuse not isolated to the Balkans or #MINUSCA in central Africa, and these incidents often involve child prostitution.— Tony Lausin (@tonylausin) January 12, 2016
The U.N. has faced several accusations of sexual abuse in the field, including paying for sex with cash or gifts, what is banned by the organization.
According to a report that was released last June, there were at least 480 allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse between 2008 and 2013, with one-third of those involving children. The largest number of such incidents occurred in missions in Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Haiti and South Sudan, reported Reuters.
The latest scandal to come to light occurred earlier this month, when the U.N. announced that it was investigating new allegations of sexual exploitation, abuse and other misconduct by peacekeepers in the Central African Republic.
WATCH: Several Previous Reports of Abuse by UN Troops