The Arakaraka dancing group in Southern Sudan performs at the opening of a sexual exploitation and abuse awareness campaign in Torit, organized by the Conduct and Discipline Team of the United Nations Mission in Sudan. August 2009.
Peacekeeping missions in Sudan (UNMIS), Liberia (UNMIL), Haiti (MINUSTAH), Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC), Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) and Timor-Leste (UNMIT) conducted specific campaigns during 2008-2009 to combat prostitution/ transactional sex involving UN personnel.
United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti MINUSTAH)
In MINUSTAH, the campaign focused on awareness-raising. Activities included a training workshop and production and distribution of posters and t-shirts. The campaign theme in the Mission was “UN values: our pride, our strength, our protection”. Outreach to the local community was conducted through mission Public Information Centers and through Haitian National Police stations. The CDT also organized film screenings as part of the campaign. The films focused on the topics of sexual and gender-based violence, women’s rights and human rights. The films reflected the human face of prostitution and the suffering it brings.
United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC)
The objective of the MONUC campaign was to sensitize the Congolese population, UN personnel and staff of international organizations about the risks of underage prostitution in a post-conflict environment. The campaign also aimed to reduce the offer and demand for sexual services involving children. It highlighted the legal sanctions for clients, the medical and social consequences of prostitution for both clients and prostitutes and the responsibilities of the community to protect the children. Trainers conducted sensitization sessions in Kinshasa, Mbandaka and Bunia, where ‘reinsertion’ centers were established. The centers provide social and economic support and offer programmes that provide minors with alternatives to prostitution.
United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL)
UNMIL’s campaign extended an ongoing Sexual Exploitation and Abuse Awareness Campaign in Liberia. The campaign aims to increase awareness among government employees, international and local UN staff, the business sector, diplomatic corps and community members of the consequences of sexual exploitation and abuse. The campaign has been endorsed by the President of Liberia, Ms. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. The activities related to the campaign are coordinated and implemented through the Gender-based Violence Task Force which is chaired by the Liberian Minister of Gender.
The campaign enabled exercise books to be distributed to primary schools throughout Liberia as well as the production of posters and information products with an anti-sexual exploitation and abuse message.
United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS)
The objectives of the campaign in UNMIS were to reach out to local partners, community leaders, local NGOs and youth to engage them in a dialogue on the issues of sexual exploitation and abuse, with an emphasis on prostitution and human trafficking. As part of the campaign, the CDT worked with local universities to generate a community-based dialogue.
UNMIS displayed photo exhibits of UN peacekeepers working in support of communities, in order to build trust and understanding of the Mission’s mandate and achievements. A video about the peacekeepers’ code of conduct was shown and public information materials in English and Arabic were produced.
Further opportunities have been used to broaden the campaign by including dedicated sessions run by CDT in other Mission activities, such as the “16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence” organized by the Gender Unit and briefings by the Child Protection Unit for military and police officers. In order to cover all ten States in Southern Sudan, the CDT is building on the initiatives of the campaign and intensifying activities to reach larger community groups and educational institutions.
United Nations Operations in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI)
Through a media campaign on the BBC and Radio France Internationale, the CDT described the measures currently in place in UNOCI to prevent acts of sexual exploitation and abuse by its personnel. A wide variety of information products were distributed to support the campaign. A song composed by a local musician was given to radio stations and a video was disseminated to radio and TV stations and to non-government organizations.
The CDT developed a webpage on the UNOCI website, with the assistance of the Office of Communication and Public Information. The webpage provides information on the standards of conduct on sexual exploitation and abuse as well as the zero tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse.
United Nations Mission in Timor Leste (UNMIT)
The UNMIT campaign strategy focused on the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse. In collaboration with the Public Information Office in the Mission, posters, flyers, brochures and contact sheets were developed.