Timor-Leste: UN rebuts allegations over failure to investigate sexual exploitation

2 July 2003

The United Nations mission in Timor-Leste today rebutted recent media allegations that the world body's police force had failed to adequately investigate the trafficking of women and organized prostitution in the country.

"This allegation is without foundation. UN Police (UNPOL), together with the Timorese judicial authorities, has been actively engaged in investigating and preventing the sexual exploitation of women and prostitution in Dili," stated the UN Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET).

Last April, UNPOL raided an establishment in the Timorese capital and detained a man and a woman, as well as 23 Thai women aged between 15 and 45 and six clients. Subsequently, the police also detained two Timorese citizens and found seven Indonesian women on the premises of another establishment it raided. More recently, another man was arrested at Dili Hotel for exploitation of women.

"UNPOL continues to monitor and investigate all suspected cases involving the exploitation of women and/or minors," the UN mission stressed.


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