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The UN Goes Where the Action Is

John on May 8, 2007 at 1:23 am

Of course by action I don’t just mean peacekeeping missions:

TEENAGE Timorese prostitutes gather just before dusk opposite a hotel on Dili’s waterfront where drivers in United Nations vehicles can be seen picking them up and driving away.

“It’s disgusting these people who have supposedly come here to help the Timorese are abusing these poor girls,” says an Australian mechanic drinking in the hotel’s second-floor bar, who observes the scene every night.

Some of the 2000 UN police and civilian staff from more than 40 countries are openly violating what the UN promised would be a “zero tolerance” policy towards sexual abuse and misconduct in the deeply religious country, sources say.

Expatriates say a dozen brothels have recently opened in Dili, and that vehicles with UN markings can be seen parked outside them most nights.

One of the brothels is employing a dozen ethnic-Chinese prostitutes, expatriates say.

A UN employee who asked not to be named told the Herald the UN is “turning a blind eye” to prostitution. UN employees often earn as much in one day as many Timorese families earn in a year. “The so-called zero tolerance policy includes prostitution but nothing is being done stop it,” she said.

Dangerous driving is another accusation against UN employees. UN vehicles have been involved in 80 single vehicle accidents since March, some of them apparently involving drink driving, and in more than 20 other types of accidents during the same period.

Of course the zero-tolerance policy was instituted last time the UN got caught abusing local girls. Seems like not too much has changed.

[HT: The ever-lovin, blue-eyed...Magic Statistics]

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Category: Foreign Affairs |

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