THE United Nations is investigating a report that a ship
chartered for peacekeepers in East Timor is also being used to bring
child prostitutes to the island nation, the organisation said today.
The allegations surfaced over the weekend in the Portuguese
weekly Expresso. The Expresso report said UN personnel
were involved in bringing girls from Thailand to East Timor as
"So far, some of the allegations are unsubstantiated," said Hua
Jiang, UN deputy spokeswoman. She would not elaborate or comment
further on the status of the investigation being conducted by the
UN's office of internal oversight.
The same office investigated allegations last year of sexual
exploitation of refugee children in West Africa by employees of more
than 40 private aid organisations.
That report found the allegations largely unsubstantiated
although they were raised in a report by the UN High Commissioner