June 12, 2008

Reports Of Massive Sex Abuse Of Children By UN Workers


By Ann Shibler
jbs.org

A new report says accusations of sexual abuse by UN peacekeepers and other aid workers is grossly unreported and says that UN workers are frequent perpetrators of child sexual abuse.

Follow this link to the original source: "Report: Sex abuse by aid workers widespread"

A study released May 27 by the London-based organization, Save the Children UK, found that UN peacekeepers and other aid workers around the world are perpetrators of a huge range of child exploitation and sexual abuse, running the gamut from forced sex, child prostitution, child pornography, sexual slavery, sexual assault, child trafficking, and even children forced to trade sex for food.

Out of 38 focus group discussions with 250 children and 90 adults, 20 of the groups pointed fingers at the UN as having the worst record of participation in the sexual abuse of children in Haiti, Southern Sudan and the Ivory Coast. Eighteen percent of the participants reported 10 or more incidents of sexual touching, and twenty-three percent reported 10 or more incidents of forced sex.

A 14-year-old male working at a "peacekeeping" camp in Ivory Coast told Save the Children that the UN workers, "especially ask us for girls of our age. Often it will be between eight and ten men who will share two or three girls. When I suggest an older girl, they say that they want a young girl." Some of the victims are reported to be as young as six years old.

The report by Save the Children noted the difference between the UN’s official version and reality: "Clearly there is a significant disparity between the low levels of abuse cited in these statistics and the high levels suggested in field investigations and other evidence." "Many UN agencies and NGOs working here feel they cannot be touched by anyone," said an anonymous aid worker in Ivory Coast.

Significant levels of abuse in emergency situations go unreported as well, with attempts to stamp it out remaining "fundamentally flawed," reports Save the Children. This is bad news indeed for those Asian nations recently experiencing catastrophic natural disasters and who have been pressured into accepting UN workers’ presence in their areas.

In response, Save the Children believes a global watchdog group should be set up to monitor the situation, tackle the abuse problems and work out solutions. Unfortunately, Save the Children, in a video shown on MSNBC, proposes as a solution, having children to speak out about the abuse so they "don't have to resort to sex as a way to survive."

For an organization that just completed an eye-opening report on the situation, this is a remarkably inept solution. The children are victims of crime. Having them speak publicly will do nothing to prevent the perpetrators from victimzing others. The only real solution is to remove the criminals from environments where the victims of natural disasters, war, and famine are likely to be easy prey. The best way to achieve this is to dismantle the dysfunctional system that enables these criminals and is, in essence, an accomplice to their crimes.

In other words, the best solution is to dismantle the UN. And the best way to do that is for the United States to withdraw from the world body, and soon.

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