A disturbing new report by the Associated Press reveals more than a decade of allegations of sexual abuse at the hands of United Nations peacekeepers, and other personnel.
According to U.N. data and interviews obtained by the AP, from 2004 to 2016 there were more than 2,000 allegations of sexual abuse by peacekeepers around the world. Three hundred involved children. And in Haiti, according to an internal U.N. report that the AP reviewed, more than 134 Sri Lankan peacekeepers were accused of sexually abusing nine Haitian children, some as young as 12, in a sex ring that reportedly lasted from 2004 to 2007.
The United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti was established in 2004, sending soldiers from other countries to Haiti after the overthrow of President Jean-Bertrande Aristide left the country unstable. Three years later, the U.N. received complaints of abuse, and launched an investigation that found some orphaned Haitian children had been repeatedly raped by many peacekeepers, while some women reported that they partook in “survival sex”–– having sex in exchange for food or money. One boy, who was 15 at the time, told investigators that he had sex with more than 100 peacekeepers, averaging about four a day for three years.
Following the U.N.’s investigation, 114 Sri Lankan peacekeepers accused were sent home, but none were jailed — and in Haiti, the abuse continued at the hands of peacemaking soldiers from various other countries. All told, the AP found that about 150 allegations of abuse by peacekeepers and other personnel were reported in Haiti between 2004 and 2016. Internationally, there were almost 2,000 cases of alleged assaults by peacekeepers from Bangladesh, Brazil, Jordan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Uruguay, and Sri Lanka. The AP notes that the U.N. doesn’t actually have jurisdiction over peacekeepers, and that punishment is the responsibility of the countries that sent the soldiers — but for the most part, recourse was rare.
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: Teen Vogue, Emma Sarran Webster