Syrian women walk during a sandstorm near at a temporary refugee camp in the village of Ain Issa. AFP / DELIL SOULEIMAN
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Aid agencies in Syria are joining forces to tackle sexual abuse of people in need, the United Nations said Tuesday, amid reports of women in the war-torn nation being sexually exploited by men delivering aid for its agencies and major charities. Leading aid organizations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that they were concerned about possible cases of men in southern Syria demanding sexual favors from women in exchange for assistance.The aid sector has been rocked by reports that Oxfam staff paid for sex with prostitutes in Haiti after a 2010 earthquake, with the fallout piling pressure on charities to overhaul their approach to dealing with cases of sexual misconduct and abuse.UNICEF said a network of aid groups and U.N. agencies will this year roll out a countrywide strategy in Syria to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation.
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