Whistleblower who exposed child sex abuse resigns from UN

Child sex abuse whistleblower says impunity and lack of accountability of offenders led to his resignation.

Photo by: AFP (Archive)
Photo by: AFP (Archive)

Anders Kompass, seen in Guatemala City on February 13, 2006.

UN whistleblower who exposed the sexual abuse of children by UN peacekeepers in the Central African Republic (CAR) announced his resignation during an interview on Tuesday, in protest to what he sees as  "complete impunity" for those responsible.

“The complete impunity for those who have been found to have, in various degrees, abused their authority, together with the unwillingness of the hierarchy to express any regrets for the way they acted towards me sadly confirms that lack of accountability is entrenched in the United Nations,” Kompass told humanitarian news agency IRIN.

“This makes it impossible for me to continue working there.”

The resignation of Anders Kompass, Director of Field Operations for the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR), was confirmed by a UN spokesman, who said the departure will take effect at the end of August.

In July 2014, Kompass leaked a confidential UN report on the sexual abuse of children, mostly by French peacekeepers in CAR, to prosecutors in France claiming the UN was taking too long to act.

French soldier stands guard in Bangui, Central African Republic. (Reuters)

The report stated that children, as young as eight-years-old, were being raped and encouraged to take part in sexual activity in exchange for food or money.

Kompass, who worked for the United Nations for more than 30 years, was suspended in April 2015 for leaking the internal report on the abuse, but the independent study exonerated him, said IRIN.

“It condemned his 'misconduct', suspended him from his job, humiliatingly marched him out of his office, and demanded his resignation.”

UN Watch, a human rights body in Geneva which monitors the United Nations, called for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to apologise to Kompass.

The executive director of the UN Watch, Hillel Neuer, described the Swedish national as a “hero for trying to protect abused children, in contrast to other UN officials.”

There have been 68 cases of alleged sexual assault by UN peacekeepers last year, a "net increase" from 2014, according to the recent report by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.  Half the cases were reported in UN missions to CAR and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

TRTWorld and agencies