A WHISTLE blower has claimed UN staff could have carried out 60,000 rapes in the last decade as aid workers indulge in sex abuse unchecked around the world.
The claim is in a bombshell dossier that former senior United Nations official Andrew Macleod handed over to DFID Secretary Priti Patel last year.
In it, Professor Macleod also estimated there are 3,300 paedophiles working for the world body’s various agencies alone.
Thousands more “predatory” sex abusers specifically target aid charity jobs to get close to vulnerable women and children.
And there has been an “endemic” cover-up of the sickening crimes for two decades, with those who attempt to blow the whistle just getting fired.
Sharing his dossier with The Sun, Prof MacLeod last night warned that the spiralling abuse scandal was on the same scale as the Catholic Church’s.
The respected academic said: “There are tens of thousands of aid workers around the world with paedophile tendencies, but if you wear a UNICEF T-shirt nobody will ask what you’re up to.
“You have the impunity to do whatever you want.
“It is endemic across the aid industry across the world”.
“The system is at fault, and should have stopped this years ago.”
Professor MacLeod worked as an aid boss for the UN all over the world, including high profile jobs in the Balkans, Rwanda and Pakistan – where he was chief of operations of the UN’s Emergency Coordination Centre.
He is campaigning for far tougher checks on aid workers in the field as well as the abusers among them to be brought to justice, and wants the UK to lead the fight.
The professor’s grim 60,000 figure is based on UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres’s admission last year that UN peacekeepers and civilian staff abused 311 victims in just one 12 month period over 2016.
The UN also admits that the likely true number of cases reported against its staff is double that, as figures outside of war zones are not centrally collated.
Prof MacLeod also estimates that only one in 10 of all rapes and assaults by UN staff are reported, as even in the UK the reporting rate is just 14 per cent.
Based on evidence from Prof MacLeod, ex-Cabinet minister Priti Patel – who resigned in November last year - today accused senior officials at DFID of being part of the cover up.
Ms Patel said senior DFID staff tried to talk her out of making a critical speech about aid workers’ sex abuse, arguing that it was only by UN soldiers and to claim otherwise was “over-stepping the mark”.
Britain is one of the top 10 contributors to the UN budget, handing over £2bn a year.
Prof MacLeod insisted that meant the “difficult truth” that “child rape crimes are being inadvertently funded in part by United Kingdom tax-payer”.
He added: “I know there were a lot of discussions at senior levels of the United Nations about ‘something must be done’ but nothing effective came of it, and if you look at the record of whistleblowers, they were fired.
“We are looking at a problem on the scale of the Catholic Church — if not bigger.”
Senior Tory MP Conor Burns, who is Boris Johnson’s parliamentary aide, dubbed the Oxfam furore as just “the tip of an iceberg in finding out what has been going on”.
Mr Burns was a university friend of Prof MacLeod and called for him to be listened to very seriously.
Mr Burns added: “I believe that there has been systematic, organised and covered-up activity going on over many, many years”.
Penny Mordaunt tonight vowed to “step up our work to tackle sexual exploitation and abuse across the UN and other international organisations”.
In September last year, PM Theresa May also threatened to withhold cash from the UN and demanded it “win back trust”.
No10 today insisted there will be “zero tolerance” towards any acts of sexual abuse.
But Downing Street ducked out of ordering any investigation into Ms Patel’s allegations, despite their seriousness.
DFID also said “there no current investigations” into any senior officials turning a blind eye to abuse.
One angry Tory MP said Theresa May was refusing to act because the claims.
Commons Development Select Committee chair Stephen Twigg announced his MPs will grill aid bosses and ministers over the scandal as soon as Parliament returns from its half term break next Tuesday.
UN aid workers raped 60,000 people as it’s claimedorganisation employs 3,300 paedophiles Tom Newton Dunn, Political Editor 12thFebruary 2018
The UN’s children’s agency has admitted shortcomings in its humanitarian support to children who allege that they were raped and sexually abused by French peacekeepers in Central African Republic.
A statement by Unicef Netherlands is the first public acknowledgement of the agency’s recent failure to provide support to some of the victims of abuse by peacekeepers in the African nation. It comes as the aid sector and the UN face increasing scrutiny for their failings in managing internal sexual misconduct by their own staff.
Unicef was given the task of overseeing the support for children who said they had been abused by peacekeepers.
But in March last year, an award-winning investigation by Swedish Television’s Uppdrag Granskning (Mission Investigate) revealed that some of the children supposedly in the UN’s care were homeless, out of school and forced to make a living on the streets, despite UN assurances that they would be protected.
Unicef’s representative in CAR told the programme that the children were in the agency’s assistance programme for minors and were being supported. He said he was not aware that some were on the streets.
But earlier this month – ahead of a Dutch screening of the programme – Unicef Netherlands admitted to the Dutch television programme Zembla that Unicef had failed in its duty to help some of the victims. But it said that since the programme had first aired, it had taken steps to locate the children featured in the programme and provide them with support.
Marieke van Santen, of Zembla, said she found the Swedish film “astonishing” because the children who were interviewed were known to Unicef, yet they were not being cared for.
Van Santen said: “It is quite shocking to realise that not only once but twice UN agencies have failed to help these victims.”
The statement from Unicef Netherlands was welcomed by Karin Mattisson, a reporter for Mission Investigate. “I hope it makes a difference to the children and gives them strength. They have said they were failed,” said Mattisson.
Several boys who testified to having been sexually assaulted by French soldiers were living rough, Mattisson found, while a girl, who became pregnant at the age of 14 by a Congolese peacekeeper and had later found out she was HIV-positive, was out of school looking after her baby. Another boy, aged eight, who was too traumatised to be interviewed, was in an orphanage.
“I hope they live up to this statement,” she said. “When we investigated the UN and Unicef it was a long journey into their culture of silence.”
Some of the children Mattisson spoke to had given evidence to officials investigating reports of abuse by the French Sangaris peacekeeping force, which was not part of the UN peacekeeping mission, but under UN security council control. Since then, however, other cases of sexual abuse and exploitation by UN peacekeepers have emerged.
The agency first came under fire for its failure to care for the child victims of abuse in CAR in 2015. An independent panel, which found the UN’s failure to respond to allegations that French peacekeepers sexually abused children in the country amounted to “gross institutional failure”.
It also said Unicef and human rights staff in CAR had failed to ensure the children received medical attention and humanitarian aid and “failed to take steps to protect other victims”. Unicef responded by saying it “deeply regretted” the failings.
Before airing the film in the Netherlands, Zembla said it wanted to know if the agency had instigated any changes. “We wanted to understand that, and we also wanted to know what happened after the documentary,” said Van Santen.
The Unicef Netherlands statement, issued to Zembla, said: “First of all: it is horrible what happened in the Central African Republic. Children should never be the victim of abuse, violence and exploitation. It is terrible that this happened and that relief was not enough.”
It said that since March it had “tightened up” sexual abuse reporting and intensified efforts to provide support to victims of sexual exploitation, including medical, psychosocial support and help with food and education. It stressed the “difficult circumstances” of working in CAR, a country of extreme poverty and excessive violence, which has been involved in a long civil war.
“As the largest organisation that provides help to children here, we have a big responsibility. We must continuously watch to do our work as well as possible.”
A statement by Unicef’s HQ said it had followed up with the cases exposed by the Swedish documentary, and provided assistance “where appropriate”.