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One in Three UN Employees Have Been Victims of Sexual Harassment: Survey

NEW YORK – One-third of UN staff reports having been sexually harassed in the global body in the last two years, according to the findings of the first-ever poll released Tuesday on this type of behavior.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told staff in a letter that the study contained “sobering statistics and evidence of what needs to change” to improve the workplace at the United Nations.
One in three respondents (33%) reported at least one sexual harassment in the last two years, but this rose to 38.7% for those who reported a form of sexual harassment during their stay at the United Nations.
The most common type of sexual harassment was offensive sex stories or jokes or offensive remarks about appearance, body, or sexual activity.
UN employees have also been targeted for their unwelcome attempts to bring them to debate sexuality issues, offensive gestures and emotional sensations, according to the November Deloitte survey.
Two out of three stalkers were men and one in four were supervisors or managers. According to the survey, nearly one out of 10 stalkers was a senior official.
The survey had a moderately low response rate of 17%, with approximately 30,364 employees providing answers to a confidential online questionnaire.
In a letter to the staff, Guterres said that the results of the survey on the prevalence of sexual harassment were comparable to those of other organizations, but that the United Nations, which promotes equality, dignity and human rights must set high standards.
In February, the United Nations set up a 24-hour helpline for staff to report cases of sexual harassment, and United Nations investigators were assigned to handle all complaints.
Guterres is committed to a zero-tolerance policy on sexual harassment.
UNAIDS President Michel Sidibe announced last month his resignation after a review of his management style revealed that he had created a culture of harassment, including sexual harassment, in the agency United Nations based in Geneva.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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