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Sexual harassment within the UN

17-1-2019

A recent UN study on sexual harassment within the last two years, has shown that one third of UN employees reported at least one instance of sexual harassment during that period of their work at the UN. The survey, published on Thursday by AFP, and involving around 30,364 staff who provided answers to a confidential online questionnaire, indicated that one in three employees experienced at least one instance of sexual harassment in the past two years. The figure however jumped to nearly 38.7% when respondents were asked about a specific form of harassment. The study noted that the most common type of sexual harassment inside the UN were sexual jokes or stories and offensive remarks about appearance, body or sexual activities, and other forms, including drawing them into discussion about sexual matters or touching, etc. The survey also found that two out of three harassers were men and one in four were supervisors or directors, while one in ten harassers were senior executives. In a letter to his employees, UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, explained that the above study contained serious statistics and evidence of what needs to change and improve in the UN, pledging to enforce a zero-tolerance policy for sexual harassment. (An Nahar, Al Diyar, January 17, 2019)

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