Charity pledges to review its guidelines after publishing images of 16-year-old rape survivor

Médecins Sans Frontières, which has taken down the pictures after an outcry on social media, says it wants to avoid such ‘misjudgements in the future’

(Photograph: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photograph: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images)

Médecins Sans Frontières has pledged to review its audiovisual guidelines after it was criticised for using pictures of a teenage rape survivor on its website.

The humanitarian charity removed images of a 16-year-old girl from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, who had been raped by three armed men, after the pictures were condemned on social media for being racist.

The Guardian newspaper reported that the photographs, which showed the girl lying on a bench after receiving treatment at an MSF hospital, were taken in Drodro, a refugee camp in Ituri province.

A spokesperson for the charity said it had heard the concerns and issues raised over the pictures.

“We have removed them from the relevant photo story and, as we do regularly, will be reviewing our audiovisual guidelines and their implementation, in order to avoid misjudgements in the future,” the spokesperson said.

In 2018, MSF apologised amid claims that some of its staff sexually exploited women in Africa, including that staff had boasted about trading medicine for sex during the Ebola crisis.

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