BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Urdu Hindi Pashto Bengali Tamil Nepali Sinhala
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: South Asia  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Tuesday, 19 November, 2002, 20:43 GMT
UN assists Nepal sex abuse victims
Refugee camp in Nepal
100,000 Bhutanese refugees may live in the camps
The United Nations refugee agency has sent a team of specialists to support victims of sexual abuse in Nepalese refugee camps.

The UNHCR found at least 18 cases of sexual abuse or attempted abuse of female Bhutanese refugees, including a girl of seven, after an investigation last month.

Ethnic Bhutanese refugees in Nepal
Many Bhutanese fled the country in the 1980s
The investigation followed allegations of abuse against aid workers employed with local non-governmental organisations.

Late last week the UNHCR deployed the specialist team of lawyers and social workers to the camps in south-eastern Nepal.

All the aid workers who fell under suspicion have been dismissed.

Helping with investigations

The specialists have now taken up their posts at the refugee camps.

The agency said it will help with police investigations. Although none of the suspects are employed directly by the UNHCR, some are working for UN funded non-governmental organisations.

In Geneva, the agency's inspector-general, Dennis McNamara, said two Nepalese officials whose salaries were paid by UNCHR had also allegedly been involved in the abuse.

He said: "We're now pressing the Nepalese authorities to investigate. We're concerned no adequate police operation has been undertaken."

New code

The UNHCR has recently created a new code of conduct for its employees and the aid workers who serve alongside them.

The move followed allegations of sexual abuse at refugee camps in West Africa, although none directly involved UNHCR staff.

The UNHCR's representative in Kathmandu, Abraham Abraham, said the team would also provide the victims with medical and psychological help and set up a system to make it easier for victims to report such cases.

He said the Nepalese government may also be asked to provide more police at the camps.

Some 100,000 Nepali-speaking Bhutanese refugees live in UNHCR-sponsored camps in Nepal after fleeing Bhutan in the late 1980s, when Bhutanese authorities described them as illegal immigrants.

See also:

20 Aug 01 | South Asia
02 Jun 02 | South Asia
07 Aug 02 | Country profiles
07 Aug 02 | South Asia
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more South Asia stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more South Asia stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes