Nurtured Rape Culture across the UN Agencies, Failure of the System to follow the Fundamental Norms of Human Rights, Negligence, and Unwillingness of the Member States and Non-Governmental Organization to fulfill their Obligation as Requested by their Mandate and International Declarations and Conventions Signed.
19 August 2019
I am a former staff member of … of the United Nations. For safety reasons and to avoid further retaliation, I am … submitting my testimony anonymously.
I am submitting this testimony to exemplify how the victims of sexual harassment and assault are treated by the institutions such as the United Nations, human and women's rights watchdog organizations and non-governmental organizations mandated to secure basic human right and eliminate torture and violence against women.
My case of sexual harassment and assault demonstrates not only the failure of internal justice system, but an intentional negligence of the Member States, as governing bodies of … and signatures to the relevant international declarations and conventions, to secure fundamental human rights within the UN agencies (either for the aid recipients or for the UN staff).
I have numerous pieces of probative evidence of collusion among three UN agencies aimed to cover up sexual harassment and retaliation. These agencies are … .
I have numerous pieces of probative evidence of the Permanent Missions’ (in Geneva) of … Member States … being informed about sexual harassment and retaliation case at … and absolute failure of …’s internal justice system. And yet, they neglected their duty of care, as governing bodies of the UN, and refused to set a panel of independent experts to investigate … (multiple requests from ... staff members to investigate … were sent to the Member States in April 2019).
The victims are fight for their dignity (if they dare) alone, without any support, against the institutions that possess huge financial as sometimes political power and which employs a phalanx of certified lawyers but lack any basic competence about the rule of law and ethical norms.
Aid recipients have ZERO chance to survive this type of fight alone and there is a MODERATE, almost ZERO chance the staff as well to succeed in seeking justice over institutionalized violence!
All the above mentioned is just the tip of the iceberg. A summary of my case is presented below:
It is important to mention that the corporate culture at … (like in other UN agencies such as UNAIDA and UNICEF) tolerated this type of inappropriate behavior. The victims are usually helpless and never get any support from the organization. On the contrary, these types of large bureaucratic organizations, protected by their diplomatic immunity, actively practice a "finish off the victim" approach. Just to illustrate, while, facing deteriorated health conditions because of escalated violence, I visited … Medical Unit and Ombuds office to get any support. No practical support was received (although I was afraid of sharing any names), but I was told to be careful as they break people here!
For ease of reference, the report of …’s Ombudsperson, issued in April 2016, described the toxic corporate culture:
Instead of taking corrective measures to improve the work environment, … kept supporting and institutionalizing hostility and harassment in … (the contract of the ombudsperson was not renewed as well). It is not surprising, as the tone of tolerance to and cover-up of a corrupt and harassing institutional practices at … were already set in 2016 by the Member States of …, who refused to take proper actions against the … [leadership executive] … . … .
To summarize, the Administration of the UN agencies as well as some representatives of the Member States not only neglected their duty and abused the system, they intentionally kept violating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power.
The same people make public statements about zero tolerance to any forms of harassment and continue covering up and protecting the harassers. Sadly, the UN Member States demonstrated complete tolerance to rape culture, obstruction of justice, and harassment flourishing in the UN. Making things worse, some of the public figures, representing the Member States to the UN not only ignore numerous violations and the broken internal justice system of UN agencies but use it for their personal benefits.
There is ZERO chance the victims of sexual harassment and assault (either staff or aid recipients) to get any justice! The perpetrators are well protected by their diplomatic immunity, by the Member States' negligence (the negligence of the governing body) as well as by mandatory confidentiality requirement the UN staff is obliged to follow!
Overall, a huge amount of taxpayers’ money is spent to benefit the abusers, and perpetrators and is used to suppress and destroy the victims!