Who is Ravi Karkara? Eight men have accused one UN youth official of repeatedly exploiting them and using his position of power and influence to ask them for sexual favours. Ravi Karkara describes himself on social media profiles as a trained social worker with ‘commitment to advance human rights, participation, inclusion and gender equality, accountability and social justice.’ Here’s all you need to know about the case.

  • Ravi Karkara is a senior UN gender and youth official accused of sexual misconduct
  • Ravi Karkara under investigation after at least 8 men claimed they were sexually harassed by UN Women adviser
  • He has been accused of abusing his position of power to take advantage of young people who feared speaking out against.
  • The allegations against Ravi Karkara, according to The Guardian, are forcing people to view pornography and making obscene gestures. Reports say he has been accused of sending messages inviting young men to masturbate.
  • One alleged victim, 25-year-old Steve Lee, told Newsweek that on 1 December 2016 Karkara grabbed his genitals through his trousers while the pair were alone in a hotel room.
  • Steve Lee, one of the employees at UN has confided in the reports that Karkara had sent him pornography, grabbed his genitals and mocked his religious convictions.
  • UN Women confirmed to Newsweek and Guardian that its investigation remains ongoing and that the subject of the inquiry is on administrative leave.
  • Mandy Sanghera, a Planet 50-50 Champion for the UN has spoke out on the issue. She expressed upset at the delay in completion of the investigation which has been on for 14 months. Sanghera called the senior adviser “a predator.” “What’s finally coming to light is a long pattern of inappropriate sexual behaviour,” she said to Newsweek. “He thought because we are both Indian that I would have a blind loyalty to him. He would use the race card to protect himself, but for me it was always about trying to safeguard young people – it was never about race.”
  • In August 2017, Ravi Karkara attended and gave a keynote address to a Youth Assembly held at the U.N. headquarters in New York even though this investigation was already underway.
  • Speaking to an organisation named Safty in an earlier interview Karkara said “was strongly influenced by my mother who fought stereotypes and gender prejudices.”
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