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UN must show more leadership in wake of Oxfam scandal – human rights lawyer

Madeleine Rees helped to blow the whistle on the role of UN peacekeepers in sex-trafficking.

The United Nations needs to show leadership in the wake of the Oxfam aid worker sex scandal, a leading human rights lawyer has said.

Madeleine Rees, who helped to blow the whistle on the role of UN peacekeepers in sex-trafficking, called for an end to the “boys will be boys” culture.

Speaking to Radio 4′s Today programme, Ms Rees said: “We’ve tried for so long and so hard to get proper accountability mechanisms in place both for the UN and more broadly.

This has got to be the time when we get both the UN and all those engaged in delivering aid to actually really come up with codes of conduct that are legally enforceable Madeleine Rees

“Unfortunately things will surface, there will be a scandal and then people will engage and then it’s swept under the carpet again.

“I think really this has got to be the time when we get both the UN and all those engaged in delivering aid to actually really come up with codes of conduct that are legally enforceable.”

She added: “I think there needs to be a lot more leadership from the secretary general all the way down, it needs a lot more women in leadership positions because there is this unfortunate desire to turn a blind eye and wink at the boys will be boys.”

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