Year-Long Investigation Examines Sexual Abuse Allegations During Recent DRC Ebola Outbreak

The New Humanitarian: Power, poverty, and aid: The mix that fueled sex abuse claims in Congo
“Sex-for-jobs schemes were an open secret during the Democratic Republic of Congo’s recent Ebola outbreak, half a dozen senior U.N. officials and NGO workers told reporters from The New Humanitarian and the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Strategies put in place to stop such abuses largely failed during the outbreak that swept through the country from 2018 to 2020, aid officials and workers, gender analysts, and researchers who examined the response told reporters in nearly a year of interviews. Reports commissioned by organizations and donors also cited abuse concerns…” (Flummerfelt/Peyton, 9/29).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: EXCLUSIVE — More than 50 women accuse aid workers of sexual abuse in Congo Ebola crisis
“…In interviews, 51 women — many of whose accounts were backed up by aid agency drivers and local NGO workers — recounted multiple incidents of abuse, mainly by men who said they were international workers, during the 2018 to 2020 Ebola crisis. The majority of the women said numerous men had either propositioned them, forced them to have sex in exchange for a job, or terminated contracts when they refused. The number and similarity of many of the accounts from women in the eastern city of Beni suggests the practice was widespread, with three organizations vowing to investigate the accusations uncovered. U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres called for the allegations to be ‘investigated fully’…” (Flummerfelt et al., 9/29).

WHO: WHO to investigate allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse in Ebola response in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (9/29).

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