A UN peacekeeper on street patrol.

United Nations - The United Nations says 60 allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse were reported in UN peacekeeping operations in 2012, down from 74 allegations in 2011.

But the UN departments of peacekeeping and field support said close to half the 60 allegations reported in 2012 involved “the most egregious forms of sexual exploitation and abuse, namely sexual activities with minors or non-consensual sexual acts.”

The United Nations has more than 100 000 troops deployed in 14 peacekeeping missions, from Africa and the Mideast to Haiti and Cyprus.

The Peacekeeping Department told AP on Wednesday that the reported sexual abuse in 2012 involved 25 allegations against civilian personnel in the UN missions, 19 against military personnel, and 9 against police personnel. Six allegations were against non-UN staff and one was unknown, the UN said. - Sapa-AP