Leaders and policies at UNAIDS failed to prevent or respond to allegations of harassment: report

UNAIDS, underneath hearth over a mishandled sexual assault investigation, suffers from “a damaged organisational tradition,” the place leaders fail “to just accept accountability” and worry amongst workers is rampant, an professional report mentioned Friday.

The Unbiased Professional Report was created by UNAIDS’ oversight physique following a public uproar triggered by the company’s dealing with of sexual assault allegations in opposition to former deputy government director Luiz Loures.

The findings, primarily based on dozens of interviews and a whole lot of workers surveys, mentioned the company tasked with coordinating the worldwide response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic is led by a secretariat engulfed in “a disaster which threatens its very important work”.

“The leaders, insurance policies and processes at UNAIDS have failed to stop or correctly reply to allegations of harassment together with sexual harassment, bullying and abuse of energy in UNAIDS,” the report mentioned.

“The proof earlier than the Unbiased Professional Panel of a damaged organisational tradition is overwhelming,” it added.

“The management of the UNAIDS Secretariat fails to just accept accountability for a tradition of impunity changing into prevalent within the organisation, a tradition that doesn’t guarantee a protected and dignified office for its workers, and one which fails to respect human rights in keeping with legislation and United Nations values,” it additional mentioned.

UNAIDS government director Michel Sidibe was straight blamed for his dealing with of the assault allegations in opposition to his former deputy Loures, together with fees that he inspired the accuser, Martina Brostom, to drop the case whilst a proper probe was ongoing.

An preliminary inside investigation cleared Loures of wrongdoing however a brand new probe has since been opened.

Responding to the panel’s findings, the company mentioned it was “putting in an agenda for change to rework UNAIDS right into a mannequin working surroundings.”

A number of main civil society organisations that work on HIV/AIDS have already referred to as on Sidibe to resign.

“The Government Director is firmly centered on the longer term. He totally conscious that there’s a lot of labor to do—throughout all ranges of the group—and he’s decided to steer that transformation,” UNAIDS spokeswoman Sophie Barton-Knott instructed AFP when requested if the findings would immediate Sidibe to resign.

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