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Dr Rosie James sexually assaulted by top WHO official at World Health Summit

New Delhi: The World Health Organization (WHO) has suspended a senior manager on account of sexual assault at its Geneva headquarters. This was done followed by the allegations made by a British doctor publicly. She claims that she was assaulted at a health conference that took place last month reported Reuters.

Sexually assaulted at World Health Summit

Rosie James, a 26-year-old junior doctor working for England’s National Health Service tweeted last month that the assault occurred at the World Health Summit in Berlin. The event, which took place from Oct. 16-18, was jointly organized by the WHO. James said at the time that she planned to report the incident.

“The alleged perpetrator is on leave and the investigation is on-going,” a WHO spokesperson said in an emailed response to Reuters about James’s statements, without naming him.

Dr Rosie James informed about this through her Tweets

Dr Rosie James rolled out a tweet, it read, “I was sexually assaulted by a WHO staff tonight at the World Health Summit. This was not the first time in the global health sphere that this has occurred (for MANY of us). I will be reporting it. So dissappointing+disheartening. We must do better #ZeroTolerance #MeToo#GenderEquity

She further wrote, “I am overwhelmed with all of your support, incl. from WHO. Thank you from the bottom of my heart . Very grateful to everyone trying to make a systemic and cultural shift towards #ZeroTolerance around the world. Solidarity with those who have experienced similar.”

She also wrote, “I want to make something clear. This is not just a WHO or UN issue. I and many others have experienced sexual abuse in medicine and field NGOs, for example. Workplaces need to be safe and supportive environments for all. And it will take each one of us to make that a reality.”

Accused declined to comment

The individual charged with sexual assault allegation declined to comment when Reuters reached out to him.  The WHS Foundation GmbH, one of the organizers of the event at Berlin told Reuters that the matter must be investigated “urgently and thoroughly”.

“The WHO is leading the investigation in the case,” Dr Jörg Heldmann, managing director of the WHS Foundation, said in the statement.

Rosie was assaulted and asked for hotel room 

Rosie James had told Reuters that the WHO official made repeated sexual advances on her.  She also claimed that she was groped and he also asked for her hotel room number. The incident occurred at an evening networking event.

“Someone pretended to be my boyfriend to defuse the situation, and even after that, he continued to touch me inappropriately,” she told Reuters. “I was just really fed up because this happens to women all the time and I wanted to raise it.”

 

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