According to the newspaper, the 84-page document was compiled by research teams working in refugee camps in West Africa for the UNHCR and Save the Children between 2001 and 2002.
The report mainly included small local charities, however 15 international organizations, such as the UNHCR itself, the World Food Programme (WFP), Save the Children, Medical Emergency Relief International (Merlin), Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF, or Doctors Without Borders), Care International, the International Rescue Committee, the International Federation of Red Cross Societies and the Norwegian Refugee Council, were also listed in the document.
"[Aid workers were] among the prime sexual exploiters of refugee children, often using the very humanitarian assistance and services intended to benefit refugees as a tool of exploitation," the newspaper said, citing the report.
The document stressed that the allegations could not be fully verified and required further investigation, noting, however, that their number indicated a critical scale of the problem.
Report of a joint UNHCR/SC-UK assessment from 22 October to 30 November 2001 in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. The assessment looked at the scope and nature of sexual violence/exploitation of refugee and displaced children in the region— Martin Plaut (@martinplaut) May 29, 2018
As the newspaper specified, details relating to claims against 67 people were submitted to UNHCR officials, and fewer than ten were dismissed as a result — none were prosecuted.
The UNHCR wrote to all the NGOs and agencies which were mentioned in the report and notified them of the allegations. The United Nations also dispatched its investigators, and initiated "specific preventive and remedial actions."
In 2001, a team of researchers toured refugee camps in the Mano River states of W. Africa to examine the extent of sexual exploitation of children in refugee camps— Dr Tricia (@TriciaFrasman) May 29, 2018
The report was submitted to the management of the UNHCR in 2002 but has never been publishedhttps://t.co/UcpsavJRhs
According to the newspaper, the report was undermined by Ruud Lubbers, the then UN high commissioner for refugees, who said in an interview with CNN back in 2002 that the allegations lacked evidence and were "not a reality."
Recently, another prominent charity became the center of a scandal when it was revealed in February that members of Oxfam, who were engaged in dealing with the consequences of the major earthquake in Haiti in 2010, were involved in sexual misconduct, bullying and intimidation against local residents. Moreover, it was revealed that the charity had conducted its investigation into the situation back in 2011 but never disclosed its results.
The scandal prompted several Oxfam employees, including Deputy Chief Executive Penny Lawrence, to resign.