IOM to Investigate Reports of Sexual Abuse and Exploitation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Geneva- The International Organization for Migration is gravely concerned by reports published in the media yesterday of sexual exploitation and abuse of women by aid workers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo during the Ebola crisis. 

In light of these reports, IOM’s Director General is ordering an immediate investigation by the Organization including an assessment of the serious allegation against an IOM worker. 

Such abuses by UN personnel and other humanitarian workers are an outrageous breach of trust with those we are mandated to support, often in very trying humanitarian circumstances.  

IOM is determined to investigate and eradicate these shocking abuses wherever and whenever they occur including in this particular instance. 

As an Organization we work constantly to improve our systems to tackle sexual exploitation and abuse, with strengthened reporting tools, staff trainings, and awareness raising across the Organization.  

Because survivors of abuse are sometimes reluctant to come forward, we are committed to improving our reporting mechanisms to ensure confidence in the system and that survivors are fully aware that they can report such allegations without fear of retribution. IOM is fully committed to supporting the immediate and longer-term needs of survivors, including their access to legal, health and psychosocial support.     

The safety and protection of those whom we serve and our staff and partners is a critical priority for the organization. 

For more information please contact:  Safa Msehli at IOM Geneva, Tel: +41 79 403 5526. Email: