An independent commission said that 83 aid workers, along with some World Health Organization (WHO) staff, were involved in sexual exploitation cases during an Ebola breakout in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Tuesday, September 28.
The commission discovered that the abuses, which included nine counts of rape, were committed by 21 WHO employees who were from both the national and international staff.
The report came in when 50 local women came forward to report the crime.They were allegedly offered drinks, “ambushed” in hospitals, forced to do sexual acts, and two have become pregnant.
Commission member Malick Coulibaly said in a press briefing, “The review team has established that the presumed victims were promised jobs in exchange for sexual relations or in order to keep their jobs.”
WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called the abuses “inexcusable” and apologized to the victims at a news conference, and said that it was his priority to hold the suspects accountable. WHO Africa regional director Matshidiso Moeti also asked forgiveness for those who suffered because of the WHO staff’s behavior.
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