World Tour – Aid worker abuse, and floods in Europe


MARY REICHARD, HOST: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: World Tour with Africa reporter Onize Ohikere.

ONIZE OHIKERE, REPORTER: Women accuse Ebola aid workers of abuse—We start today here in Africa.

More than 50 women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have accused international aid workers of sexual abuse. The women reported multiple incidents of abuse that happened during the 2018 Ebola crisis.

SURVIVOR: He told me to come to his hotel and I felt a little afraid. We had heard strange things about these foreigners.

The men worked for organizations like the World Health Organization and Doctors Without Borders. Five women said their abusers worked for the Christian non-profit World Vision.

The women said multiple men had coerced them into intimate acts in exchange for a job, or fired them when they refused. Some reported the abuse happened as recently as March. The World Health Organization promised a full investigation and serious consequences for abusers.

AUDIO: The allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse by aid workers…are deeply horrific and heartbreaking.

World Vision also launched an investigation into the allegations.

Malaysia and Indonesia palm oil human rights abuses—Next, we go to Asia.

Plantations in Malaysia and Indonesia are facing accusations of human rights abuses. That’s according to a recent report by U.S. investigators. The report found that Malaysian palm-oil plantations use forced child labor, abuse their workers, and house them in inhumane living conditions.

AUDIO: The industry has been built on a backbone of modern slavery. And it’s been built on the backbone of these companies being able to violate human rights norms left, right, and center with no consequence.

As a result, U.S. customs officials said they will block all palm-oil products from one of Malaysia’s largest producers.

U.S. manufacturers use palm-oil in more than half of all packaged consumable products, everything from cosmetics to animal feed. Indonesia and Malaysia are the world’s two largest producers.

Washington threatens to close embassy in Iraq—Next, to the Middle East.

AUDIO: [IRAQI FOREIGN MINISTER, ARABIC]

The United States has threatened to close its embassy in Iraq, following a string of attacks on American troops. In recent weeks, militias and rogue groups have targeted Baghdad’s Green Zone. That’s where the Iraqi government and several embassies are based. A rocket attack killed six women and children last week. The next day, a roadside bomb targeted a U.S.-led convoy south of the capital.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned that the Trump administration may close the embassy if Iraq doesn’t take steps to halt the attacks.

Last week, Iraq’s foreign minister said if the United States shuts down its embassy, other nations might follow. He also said the move might encourage extremist groups to increase attacks.

Floods in France and Italy—And finally, we end today in Europe.

AUDIO: [MAN YELLING IN FRENCH]

A massive storm hit the border regions between France and Italy over the weekend. It brought record rainfall and heavy floods that swept away roads. Two people died and nine are missing. One hundred homes were damaged or destroyed.

Officials reported 24 inches of rain in 24 hours. That’s more than the region usually gets in three months. The water level in one Italian river jumped 9 feet the same day, blocking access to several mountain villages.

That’s this week’s World Tour. Reporting for WORLD, I’m Onize Ohikere in Abuja, Nigeria.


(AP Photo/Daniel Cole) A damaged house is pictured after floods in Saint-Martin-Vesubie, southeastern France, Tuesday, Oct.6, 2020. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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