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Sexual Exploitation by UN Staff

John on August 29, 2006 at 10:25 pm

As we look forward to a new UN peacekeeping force heading to Lebanon, I note that the Sydney Morning Herald has a story on a new “zero tolerance” policy toward sexual exploitation by its staff. The story notes:

[T]he UN establishment in New York was shocked when it received an internal report last month exposing a culture that covered up behaviour that enraged many UN staff, several of whom resigned in disgust.

The report revealed that peacekeepers left behind at least 20 babies they had fathered to poverty-stricken Timorese women who are now “stigmatised” and in some cases “ostracised” by their communities.

It revealed that one UN peacekeeper from an unnamed country sexually abused two boys and two girls in the enclave of Oecussi.

In early 2001, two Jordanian soldiers were evacuated home with injured penises after attempting sexual intercourse with goats.

The report warned that the UN’s credibility can be “seriously compromised” by its inability to ensure prosecutions of UN personnel who commit sex crimes.

For those who haven’t been paying attention, the UN has a long history of similar infractions. This UN report (pdf) issued in April 2005 notes:

The total number of 121 allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse registered in 2004 was more than double the 53 allegations reported in 2003. The increase in allegations is deeply troubling. It should be noted, however, that the recorded increase may result in part from the newly implemented measures to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation and abuse.

Translation: Now that we’ve turned over this rock, things are starting to crawl out. Just to be clear what we’re talking about here:

Forty-five per cent of those allegations involve sex with minors and 15 per cent involved rape or sexual assault.

Anyone want to guess what percentage of such activities went completely unreported in 2004? Here is a description of the investigative process from another UN report (pdf) issued in 2005:

[T]he preliminary investigation is conducted to establish the facts. If the preliminary inquiry appears to indicate that the report of serious misconduct is well founded, the head of mission shall establish a board of inquiry. The board of inquiry is to establish the facts and determine causes and responsibility in the incident under review, and may also make recommendations for appropriate administrative action, including repatriation…There seems to be no reason why, at the mission level, there need to be two investigations to establish facts.

Unless the goal is to make sure few of the cases get heard.

The Catholic Church rightly took a beating for not dealing with its pedophile priest problem. The UN should face similar scrutiny for engaging in similar activity. So far, despite repeated problems, the MSM has given the minimal attention.

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Category: MSM & Bias |

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