On 19 January 2016, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights informed the EU about allegations of possible sexual exploitation and abuse by some operation personnel of EUFOR RCA, which closed in March 2015.
These alleged incidents appeared to have occurred in Bangui (Central African Republic) in the course of 2014.
The EU takes these allegations very seriously. The EU is committed to human rights, protection of victims of sexual abuse and to fighting against impunity.
EEAS headquarters immediately offered assistance to the UN High Commissioner and his team, as well as to the States potentially concerned, to cooperate on the follow-up of these alleged wrongdoings.
The EU has sent an expert to discuss cooperation modalities in these proceedings with the Office of the High Commissioner. The EEAS is also reviewing any information pertaining to EUFOR RCA that could prove relevant.
The EU follows a zero-tolerance policy as regards sexual misconduct or criminal activity. All EU Missions and Operations’ documents and instructions include strict rules aimed at preventing such misbehaviour. These documents also aim at ensuring that competent national judiciary authorities effectively investigate any incidents.
According to EU missions and operations' rules, responsibility for any investigation, disciplinary or criminal action remains in the hands of the contributing States.
The EEAS informed EU Member States and is in contact with troop contributing States concerned for cooperation.