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UN troubled by increase in sexual abuse allegations against peacekeepers

[JURIST] UN Secretary General Kofi Annan [official profile] said in a report [PDF text] released Thursday that an increase in allegations of sexual abuse against UN peacekeepers and related staff is "deeply troubling," but may be related to "the newly implemented measures to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation and abuse." In 2003, only 53 allegations of sexual abuse were reported to the UN, but in 2004, the number jumped to 121, a sharp increase that could be related to the new UN measures [PDF text] encouraging sexual abuse victims to report such crimes. Annan also indicated, however, that abuse could be even more prevalent than current figures suggest since some victims may still be hesitant to come forward with allegations. Allegations received thusfar range from purported sex with minors and prostitutes to cases of rape and sexual assault. Some allegations involve the exchange of sex for food or small sums of money. AP has more.

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