Sexual Exploitation of Children

Oral Answers to Questions — International Development – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 11th June 2008.

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Photo of Stephen Crabb Stephen Crabb Conservative, Preseli Pembrokeshire 11:30 am, 11th June 2008

If he will make representations to the United Nations to investigate allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse of children by UN workers and others engaged in humanitarian programmes.

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Photo of Stephen Crabb Stephen Crabb Conservative, Preseli Pembrokeshire

I thank the Minister for that reply. However, we have been here before. The UN talks of zero tolerance, but not a single prosecution has ever been brought against a UN peacekeeper or UN member of staff for the kind of abhorrent crimes identified by Save the Children last week. So will the Minister today promise that not one additional penny of British aid will go to the UN until he receives an assurance from the Secretary-General that he will get a grip on his organisation and prevent members of his personnel from hiding behind legal immunity to carry out such crimes against the children they are mandated to protect?

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Photo of Gareth Thomas Gareth Thomas Parliamentary Under-Secretary(Department for International Development) (Trade Policy) (also Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform), Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform) (Trade and Consumer Affairs) (also Department for International Development), Party Chair, Co-operative Party

There has been a significant improvement in the UN's response to these allegations. The Save the Children report is nevertheless a timely reminder of the need to continue to do more to promote the highest standards among all humanitarian workers and peacekeepers. We will meet the UN Secretary-General next week and raise with him again the issues in the Save the Children report.

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