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World Bank mishandled sexual misconduct allegations: report



The World Bank mishandled sexual harassment complaints. One report said. (file)


According to the bank’s labor tribunal, the World Bank unfairly handled sexual harassment complaints brought by multiple women against a senior official.

The case included disturbing 2009 reports in which the officer invited young colleagues into hotel rooms, tried to deceive them and made inappropriate remarks.

According to the World Bank Administrative Tribunal, the last resort for employees who filed complaints against the development lender, the officer was demoted but not dismissed from his position.

It was the latest blame on the Washington-based finance institution, after an internal investigation recently led officials to pressure economists to change the results of their closely watched “Doing Business” report, which calls countries based on business-friendly policies. ranks.

The report implicated IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva in her former senior role at the World Bank, but the IMF board expressed confidence in her last week, saying the report did not conclusively show that she “played an unreasonable role.”

Findings in the sexual assault case, released in June, were detailed in a report Monday by The Wall Street Journal, which identified the official as Costa Rica’s presidential candidate Rodrigo Chaves, who served briefly as the country’s finance minister. served for.

The tribunal’s report said, “This case has clarified the deficiencies in the bank’s approach towards sexual harassment and accountability to the safety of the employees.”

Chaves denied any misconduct or attributed it to cultural differences, but the investigation, which interviewed 27 witnesses, described a pattern of “relentless and unwanted progress”.

Annette Dixon, World Bank Vice President of Human Resources, said the organization is “strongly committed to promoting a safe working environment that is free from harassment and abuse and where employees feel empowered to report allegations of wrongdoing.” “

“Like many large organizations, we know we can always do better,” she said in a statement.

The World Bank imposed a “no rehire” ban on Chavez in January and banned him from the premises.

The tribunal also ordered the World Bank to pay the legal costs for the two women.

Chaves, who had worked at the bank for nearly 27 years, resigned on November 30, 2019, shortly after being demoted, and then became the finance minister of Costa Rica, where he was involved in a relationship with his old employer.

He resigned as finance minister in May 2020 amid disputes with President Carlos Alvarado over spending, and is a candidate in February’s presidential election.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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