(RightWing.org) – The World Health Organization has finally compensated women and children who were sexually abused by its staff. There’s just one problem. The payments are ridiculously low.
During an outbreak of Ebola hemorrhagic fever in the Congo from 2018 to 2020, World Health Organization (WHO) staff were deployed to the central African country to help fight the outbreak. Unfortunately, some of them took the opportunity to commit horrifying sexual crimes against local women and children.
In 2021, the WHO admitted that more than 80 of its employees and locally hired staff had taken part in the abuse, and at least 104 Congolese women were victims. One of them was just 13 years old.
Now, leaked internal WHO documents have revealed that the UN agency has paid compensation to the women its staff abused — but the payments were just $250 each. According to the Associated Press, that’s less than the daily expenses payments for some WHO officials in the Congo. The UN doctor who wrote the agency’s report on the incident got paid $231 a day while she was in the country researching it.
It doesn’t look like the payments really compensate the victims for what they suffered at the WHO’s hands, especially as more than a dozen women got pregnant after being assaulted. Just to make matters worse, though, the compensation comes with conditions.
To get the money, the women have to complete training courses aimed at helping them find jobs. That could be an attempt to get around a UN policy that states it doesn’t pay reparations to victims of abuse by its staff. Instead, the WHO says it offered the women support as a “complete package” — but attaching conditions to compensation payments is unusual at best.
There are also serious questions about how the agency reacted while the abuse was going on. The WHO knew about the abuse as it was happening, but did little or nothing to stop it — and none of the officials who let it slide have been fired. There’s nothing to stop UN officials from committing similar crimes in the future, and then buying off the victims with a couple of hundred dollars.
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