22:28 GMT16 January 2021
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    In the wake of high-profile sexual abuse revelations, the UN has been accused of exploiting people, seeking assistance within the organization.

    In the first three months of 2018, the United Nations received 54 separate sexual abuse cases, filed against the organization's staff as well as non-governmental organizations implementing the UN's programs.

    Among the alleged victims, are 13 girls under the age of 18 and 16 victims of an unknown age. So far, two of the cases have been substantiated, the results of one are under review, while two other cases have been dismissed.

    Commenting on the issue, UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said that "combating this scourge, and helping and empowering those who have been scarred by these egregious acts, continue to be key priorities" for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

    A total of 66 complaints have been submitted to the UN over the corresponding violations.

    READ MORE: Australian Cardinal to Stand Trial on Sexual Abuse Charges

    In recent years, the UN has fallen under strong criticism over the alleged sexual misconduct, including rape, sexual assault and transactional sex, of its staff, especially peacekeepers.

    Last year, a UN unit was recalled from Congo, following numerous accusations of sexual abuse. Following the allegations, Antonio Guterres appointed a victims' rights advocate.


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