New Delhi: Ravi Karkara, Indian national and a senior official at United Nations agency for gender equality and women empowerment, was on Tuesday fired over the allegations of sexual misconduct. Karkara was dismissed from his post at the United Nations Women. The investigation into the allegations of sexual misconduct by younger male colleagues lasted for over 15 months.
In a statement, executive director at the division said that the investigation into the allegations of sexual misconduct were upheld and the UN is ready to work with the police for any further investigation into the case. He also said that dismissing Karkara was the strongest disciplinary measure available within UN rules.
“I can also confirm emphatically that the former staff member cannot be protected by diplomatic immunity. Although UN Women does not have the authority to prosecute, the UN is guided by its obligation to bring credible allegations of criminal conduct to the attention of the relevant national authorities,” Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said.
UN Women said that immediate actions were taken by the Executive Director against Karkara. “She is committed to ensuring that UN Women focuses on a survivor-centred approach in concluding this matter as quickly as possible,” a statement read, adding, “While accountability is indispensable, UN Women stands ready to support victims through counselling, psychosocial support and legal assistance.”
One of the accused told PTI that he met Karkara in 2009 when he was a delegate for UNICEF where Karkara had invited him to join a policy working group. Lee alleged that Karkara asked him “inappropriate sexual questions” and even grabbed him by his genitals through his pants on one of the occasions.
“He does this with a lot of young men, and I don’t really think it’s sexual favors he’s looking for,” he said, adding, “He enjoys the fact that he’s at a position of such high authority that he can do this and they can’t really do anything about it.”
With PTI inputs