Paternity claims

Where a child has been born as a result of sexual exploitation and abuse by United Nations or related personnel, the UN will work to facilitate the pursuit of claims of paternity and child support. In this regard, the UN can refer complainants or victims to legal assistance and can link the complainants or victims with the appropriate officials in the country where they wish to bring their claim.

In 2014, the Departments of Peacekeeping Operations and of Field Support implemented interim measures in field missions aimed at increasing the impact of the Organization’s role in this process. A DNA sample collection protocol was developed and field missions were provided with DNA paternity collection kits and guidance for their use. Where the national legislation of a Member State permits the use of DNA samples for testing for paternity, the UN can facilitate the collection and transmission of samples for testing.

Member States have the duty to facilitate matters relating to paternity claims involving military or police personnel, even if the personnel member in question is not in government service when the claim is made. As a practical measure, the Secretary-General has requested Member States to provide the contact information of an appropriate focal point within their national legal system to receive and advise on paternity and child support claims from nationals of countries in which their citizen served with the UN. Such information will assist claimants in understanding what is required of them to seek relief under the national legal system of the purported father.

Where paternity has been confirmed either through DNA testing or through admission by the father, the UN can facilitate the exchange of legal documents to ensure that paternity is legally recognized by courts in the countries of both the mother and father and that arrangements are made for payment of child support. The cooperation and active engagement of Member States throughout this process is essential.

    In relation to civilian staff, the Organization’s legal framework sets out the procedure to be followed when a staff member fails to comply with the court-ordered payment of child support obligations after a claimant has obtained a final court order for family support.