By Umberto Bacchi
LONDON, May 4 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The United Nations will launch a screening system to prevent former employees guilty of sexual misconduct from finding new jobs with its agencies or other charities, a senior official said on Friday, part of an effort to address its #Metoo issue.
The tool will be an electronic registry of information to be available across the U.N.'s vast international reach and eventually to other groups, said Jan Beagle, U.N. under-secretary-general for management, following a high-level meeting in London.
Prominent U.N. bodies including the World Food Programme (WFP) and refugee agency (UNHCR) fired
The wider aid sector was rocked by reports that some staff at Oxfam, one of the biggest disaster relief charities, paid for sex during a relief mission after a 2010 earthquake.
And in February, a
Plans for the U.N. screening tool to register workers found guilty of sexual misconduct were announced at the gathering of its agency heads in London this week.
"(It) is a screening tool so that when we have confirmed perpetrators of sexual harassment in the system, we can ensure that they are not able to move around," Beagle told the Thomson Reuters Foundation on the sidelines of the meeting.
Beagle said groundwork for the system, which will be managed by the secretariat, is complete and it was expected to be fully operational by the summer.
"In due course when we have some experience with it, we would like to extend it to other partners," Beagle said, referring to aid agencies, non-governmental
The plans come amid the #Metoo campaign, in which women around the world have taken to social media to share their experiences with sexual harassment and abuse. It was sparked by accusations made last year against Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres last year appointed Beagle to lead a special task force to address the issue.
At the London meeting, U.N. agencies also discussed setting up 24-hour
"Most of our investigators are
An exclusive survey by the Thomson Reuters Foundation in February found more than 120 staff from leading global charities were fired or lost their jobs in 2017 over sexual misconduct.
(Reporting by Umberto Bacchi @UmbertoBacchi, Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst
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