Ravi Karkara, adviser to UN Women, was involved in sexual misconduct: Tribunal

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Updated: Nov 27, 2020, 05:01 PM(IST)

A file photo of logo of United Nations. Photograph:( AFP )

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He was dismissed from his position after the UN Women had found him guilty of harassing two non-UN personnel, an intern

An adviser to UN Women, Ravi Karkara, has lost his appeal at a tribunal after he contested the charges of sexual misconduct which has led to him losing his job at the United Nations.

Karkara was responsible for promoting gender equality and youth partnerships at UN Women. However, he was dismissed in 2018 after he was accused of harassment against younger men, one of whom was an intern.

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The accused had filed a case in the UN dispute tribunal contesting his sacking, and arguing the charges against him were false. However, now, the UN tribunal has ruled against Karkara once again.

He was dismissed from his position after the UN Women had found him guilty of harassing two non-UN personnel, an intern. He had also used his work email account to circulate pornography. The matter had come to light in June 2017 when Steve Lee accused Karkara of using his position and authority and demanded sexual favours in return of opportunities and access to senior working groups in the establishment.

While Karkara said Lee had misunderstood the messages, Lee claimed he had been asked to help the officer by taking his luggage to a Montreal hotel room, and upon reaching in the room, Karkara had opened pornography websites on his laptop and grabbed his genitals through the trousers.

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It was also, now, revealed a second unnamed complaint has also been filed against the senior adviser who has accused him of sending his pictures from a bath and had asked the same in return. A similar complaint was lodged by an intern who also accused Karkara of demanding pictures.

Karkara, however, accused UN Women of fabricating complaints and proof and said the investigation conducted against him was biased. However, the tribunal has now ruled that the UN Women's decision was based on "clear and convincing evidence".

The tribunal said, "credible oral victim testimony alone may be fully sufficient to support a finding of serious misconduct, without further corroboration being required."

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