Sexual abuse and exploitation of women by aid workers

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection,

Under the right of access to documents in the EU treaties, as developed in Regulation 1049/2001, I am requesting documents which contain the following information:

In September and October 2020, the Commission requested all relevant partners to provide detailed information in relation to the allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse occurred during the Ebola emergency response in the Eastern region of the DRC.

I am seeking a copy/copies of all the detailed information sent by relevant partners to the European Commission since that demand.

Yours faithfully,

Nikolaj Nielsen

EUobserver
Avenue d'Auderghem / Oudergemlaan 150
1040 Brussels
Belgium

p.s. Given the restrictions imposed by Covid-19, I kindly ask you to please send me the response by email in PDF format.

ve_sg.accessdoc (SG), Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection

1 Attachment

Link: [1]File-List
Link: [2]Edit-Time-Data
Link: [3]themeData
Link: [4]colorSchemeMapping

[5]Ares(2021)73259 - RE: access to documents request - Sexual abuse and
exploitation of women by aid workers - Gestdem 2021/0054

Sent by ve_sg.accessdoc (SG) <[DG ECHO request email]>. All responses have
to be sent to this email address.
Envoyé par ve_sg.accessdoc (SG) <[DG ECHO request email]>. Toutes les
réponses doivent être effectuées à cette adresse électronique.

Dear Sir,

 

Thank you for your e-mail of 5 January 2021. We hereby acknowledge receipt
of your application for access to documents, which was registered on 5
January 2021 under reference number GESTDEM 2021/0054.

 

In accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to
European Parliament, Council and Commission documents, your application
will be handled within 15 working days.

 

The time limit will expire on 26 January 2021. In case this time limit
needs to be extended, you will be informed in due course.

 

You have lodged your application via a private third-party website, which
has no link with any institution of the European Union.

Therefore, the European Commission cannot be held accountable for any
technical issues or problems linked to the use of this system.

 

Please note that the private third party running the AsktheEU.org website
is responsible and accountable for the processing of your personal data
via that website, and not the Commission.

For further information on your rights, please refer to the third party’s
privacy policy.

 

We understand that the third party running the AsktheEU.org website
usually publishes the content of applicants’ correspondence with the
Commission on that website. This includes the personal data that you may
have communicated to the Commission (e.g. your private postal address).

 

Similarly, the third party publishes on that website any reply that the
Commission will send to the email address of the applicants generated by
the AsktheEU.org website.

 

If you do not wish that your correspondence with the Commission is
published on a private third-party website such as AsktheEU.org, you can
provide us with an alternative, private e-mail address for further
correspondence. In that case, the Commission will send all future
electronic correspondence addressed to you only to that private address,
and it will use only that private address to reply to your request. You
should still remain responsible to inform the private third-party website
about this change of how you wish to communicate with, and receive a reply
from, the Commission.

 

For information on how we process your personal data visit our page
[6]Privacy statement – access to documents.

Yours faithfully,

 

 

ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS TEAM (GD)

 

[7]cid:image001.png@01D45409.F767C980

European Commission

Secretariat-General

SG C.1

[8][email address]

 

 

 

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SKOWYRA Kamila, Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Nielsen,

Subject: Your application for access to documents – GESTDEM 2021/0054

We refer to your e-mail of 07/12/2020 in which you make a request for
access to documents, registered on 05/01/2021 under the above mentioned
reference number.

Your application is currently being handled. However, we will not be in a
position to complete the handling of your application within the time
limit of 15 working days, which expires on 26/01/2021.

We are obliged to consult the authors of the documents falling into scope
of your request as stipulated by Article 4(4) of Regulation 1049/2001.

Therefore, we have to extend the time limit with 15 working days in
accordance with Article 7(3) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding
public access to documents. The new time limit expires on 16/02/2021.

We apologize for this delay and for any inconvenience this may cause.

Yours sincerely,

 

DG ECHO Access to Documents

 [1]cid:image001.png@01D28918.53F3C230
European Commission
Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid
Operations (ECHO)

Unit E3 Contracts and Finance
Rue de la Loi 86 (L-86 04/10)

B-1049 Brussels, Belgium
Tel. office: +32 (0) 2 29 80193

 

Website [2]EN | [3]Blog | [4]YouTube | [5]Flickr | [6]Twitter |
[7]Facebook

 

 

References

Visible links
2. http://ec.europa.eu/echo/index_en.htm
3. http://blogs.ec.europa.eu/echo-action/
4. http://www.youtube.com/user/Humanitarian...
5. http://www.flickr.com/photos/69583224@N05/
6. http://twitter.com/eu_echo/
7. http://www.facebook.com/ec.humanitarian....

ECHO-DOC-ACCES@ec.europa.eu, Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection

1 Attachment

 

 

Please find attached document Ares(2021)1290743 from MICHOU Paraskevi
(ECHO) dated 16/02/2021.

 

Veuillez trouver ci-joint le document Ares(2021)1290743 de MICHOU
Paraskevi (ECHO) daté du 16/02/2021.

Dear Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection,

Please pass this on to the person who reviews confirmatory applications.

I am filing the following confirmatory application with regards to my access to documents request 'Sexual abuse and exploitation of women by aid workers'.

I am contesting the refusal to release the requested documents.

You argue:
1. Article 4(2), first indent of Regulation 1049/2001 provides that:“[t]he institutions shall refuse access to a document where disclosure would undermine the protection of commercial interests of a natural or legal person, including intellectual property, [...],unless there is an overriding public interest in disclosure.”

I believe there is an overriding public interest in disclosure given that these allegations were well documented in a media joint-investigation. https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/2020/...

Second, as of 14 February 2021, four cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD), including two deaths, have been reported in the North Kivu province in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where a large outbreak was declared over in June 2020. Two health zones are currently affected: Biena and Katwa.

The fact that the Ebola outbreak is now again taking place in the very same areas puts these women at potential risk of further sexual exploitation given that the same NGOs are working in the region. If anything, the protection of victims of sexual exploitation regardless of the context is the overriding public interest in disclosure.

Failure to release this information will lead to greater public mistrust given that this issue is already in the public domain and could potentially further complicate relief efforts currently under way.

2. Article 9(1)(b) of the Data Protection Regulation does not allow the transmission of these personal data, except if you prove that it is necessary to have the data transmitted to you for a specific purpose in the public interest and where there is no reason to assume that the legitimate interests of the data subject might be prejudiced.

I am not requesting specific names of people cited in these documents.

3. Article 4(3), first indent of the Regulation 1049/2000 on decision-making.

You argue that the release of this information will complicate your decision-making. The issue of sexual abuse by NGOs in the DRC is already in the public domain, so I fail to understand how a release of this information could somehow prejudice your decision-making.

Yours faithfully,

Nikolaj Nielsen

Sg-Acc-Doc@ec.europa.eu, Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection

Your message has been received by the Transparency Unit of the
Secretariat-General of the European Commission.
Requests for public access to documents are treated on the basis of
[1]Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of 30 May 2001 regarding public access to
European Parliament, Council and Commission documents.
The Secretariat-General will reply to your request within 15 working days
upon registration of your request and will duly inform you of the
registration of the request (or of any additional information to be
provided in view of its registration and/or treatment).
 
 
L’unité «Transparence» du secrétariat général de la Commission européenne
a bien reçu votre message.
Les demandes d’accès du public aux documents sont traitées sur la base du
[2]règlement (CE) n° 1049/2001 du 30 mai 2001 relatif à l’accès du public
aux documents du Parlement européen, du Conseil et de la Commission.
Le secrétariat général répondra à votre demande dans un délai de 15 jours
ouvrables à compter de la date d’enregistrement de votre demande, et vous
informera de cet enregistrement (ou vous indiquera toute information
supplémentaire à fournir en vue de l'enregistrement et/ou du traitement de
votre demande).
 
 
Ihre Nachricht ist beim Referat „Transparenz“ des Generalsekretariats der
Europäischen Kommission eingegangen.
Anträge auf Zugang zu Dokumenten werden auf der Grundlage der
[3]Verordnung (EG) Nr. 1049/2001 vom 30. Mai 2001 über den Zugang der
Öffentlichkeit zu Dokumenten des Europäischen Parlaments, des Rates und
der Kommission behandelt.
Das Generalsekretariat beantwortet Ihre Anfrage innerhalb von
15 Arbeitstagen nach deren Registrierung und wird Sie über die
Registrierung Ihres Antrags (oder die Notwendigkeit weiterer Informationen
im Hinblick auf dessen Registrierung und/oder Bearbeitung) unterrichten.
 
 

References

Visible links
1. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/...
2. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/...
3. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/...

ve_sg.accessdoc (SG), Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection

[1]Ares(2021)1316933 - RE: Internal review of access to documents request
- Sexual abuse and exploitation of women by aid workers

Sent by ve_sg.accessdoc (SG) <[DG ECHO request email]>. All responses have
to be sent to this email address.
Envoyé par ve_sg.accessdoc (SG) <[DG ECHO request email]>. Toutes les
réponses doivent être effectuées à cette adresse électronique.

Dear Sir,

Thank you for your email dated 17/02/2021 by which you request, pursuant
to Regulation No 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament,
Council and Commission documents, a review of the position taken by DG
ECHO in reply to your initial application GESTDEM 2021/54.

We hereby acknowledge receipt of your confirmatory application for access
to documents which was registered on 17/02/2021 (Ares(2021)1316705).

Your application will be handled within 15 working days (10/03/2021). In
case this time limit needs to be extended, you will be informed in due
course.

Please be informed that the answer to your confirmatory application is a
formal Commission decision that will be notified to you by express
delivery. Thank you for providing your contact phone number, so that the
external delivery service can contact you in case of absence.

Please note that the Commission will not use your phone number for any
other purpose than for informing the delivery service, and that it will
delete it immediately thereafter.

Yours faithfully,

Access to documents team (cr)
SG.C.1
Transparency

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Dear ve_sg.accessdoc (SG),

Please send any mailed correspondence to this address:

Nikolaj Nielsen
DHL Service Point
EPICERIE LIBRAIRIE POUYA
CHAUSSEE D'ALSEMBERG 9
1060 SINT-GILLIS
Brussels

Yours sincerely,

Nikolaj Nielsen

Dear ve_sg.accessdoc (SG),

You were supposed to respond to my confirmatory application by 10/03/2021. You are late.

Yours sincerely,

Nikolaj Nielsen

ve_sg.accessdoc (SG), Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection

[1]Ares(2021)2234671 - FW: Ares(2021)1316933 - RE: Internal review of
access to documents request - Sexual abuse and exploitation of women by
aid workers

Sent by ve_sg.accessdoc (SG) <[DG ECHO request email]>. All responses have
to be sent to this email address.
Envoyé par ve_sg.accessdoc (SG) <[DG ECHO request email]>. Toutes les
réponses doivent être effectuées à cette adresse électronique.

Dear Mr Nielsen,

Thank you for your email.

I refer to our acknowledgment email of 17 February 2021 where we informed
you that your application will be handled within 15 working days (10 March
2021).

Due to a clerical error for which we apologise very much, the holding
reply was not send to you on 10 March 2021 by which the time limit for
replying to your application would have been extended to 31 March 2021.

However, we regret to have to inform you that we will not be able to
respond within the extended time-limit. The consultation with the
concerned Commission services on this sensitive issue is still ongoing and
therefore we are missing the important elements needed to carry out a full
analysis of your request and to take a final decision.

However, we can assure you that we are doing our utmost to provide you
with a final reply in coming weeks. We regret this additional delay and
sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Yours faithfully,

Access to documents team (cr)
SG.C.1
Transparency

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Nikolaj Nielsen

Dear ve_sg.accessdoc (SG),

We are 11 May. By law and under all circumstances, you should have responded by now.

Yours sincerely,

Nikolaj Nielsen

Sg-Acc-Doc@ec.europa.eu, Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection

Dear Mr Nielsen,

Thank you for consulting us.

We apologise for the delay in replying to your confirmatory application. It was due to the extensive and lengthy internal discussions about this sensitive issue between relevant services within the European Commission.

However, we can assure you that we are doing our utmost to provide you with a final reply as soon as possible.

We regret this additional delay and sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Yours faithfully,

ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS TEAM (MN)

European Commission
Secretariat-General
SG C.1 – Transparency, Document Management
& Access to documents
[email address]

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