We read about the scandals, and then they simply disappear. Months and years pass and there is no justice. The victims remain victims, the perpetrators buy their way out and life moves on. The UN is involved in the case involving French soldiers who have been accused of sodomy and rape of young girls and boys as young as 9. The charges were initially levied early 2014 but were suppressed from the press. It wasn’t until the report was ‘leaked’ that the allegations were actually investigated. In fact, the UN has done – absolutely nothing.
When the report was leaked to French authorities in 2015 by a UN employee, the employee was suspended. That does not look as though the UN is acting with integrity and concern whatsoever! They purposefully classified the information and sat on it. Of course, in doing nothing, the abuse continued unabated and they, once again, became complicit. In legal terms, by doing nothing about the child sex abuse, the UN became a conspirator in the scandal.
Why didn’t the UN act?
Thirty suspects have been named. But still no one has been charged with a crime. The charges must be proven. How? And therein lies the problem with child sex abuse cases in general.
A similar story came to light in 2008 about Canadian soldiers serving in Afghanistan witnessing sodomy and rape at military bases. One soldier claimed that he witnessed a young boy wearing a wig somewhat askew and smeared lipstick being led into a room where he was systematically sodomized by troops. When the soldier asked his commanding officer if they could intervene he was told to ignore it because it was just ‘their culture’. Child sex abuse – is a culture? Another soldier heard an Afghan army officer raping a young boy. When he saw the young boy afterward, his bowels and lower intestines were falling out his body.
Inquiries were made. And nothing was done.
When did we become the advocates of the rapists?
It’s not the first time the UN has turned a blind eye to rape and child sex abuse. In 2001, they were accused of actually running a child sex trafficking and prostitution organization in Bosnia. UN police were on traffickers payroll. The Bosnia UN head, Jacques Klein was transferred to Liberia. While in Liberia, the same accusations were made. Klein disappeared. NO one was arrested because, you see, UN peacekeepers have diplomatic immunity from being charged with any crime while in their host country.
So if the UN is complicit in child sex trafficking, why are they also the international police?
In 2010, the UN Stabilization Force in Haiti was found to repeatedly rape and prostitute young girls, very young girls. The list is nauseating; Haiti, Bosnia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Cambodia, East Timor, Guinea and Kosovo have all reported the same UN atrocities. These are the so called “Peacekeepers”, 120,000 worldwide. So, how does one become a UN peacekeeper?
The UN has tasked itself with providing peace, security, human rights and social development. Salaries range from $37k to $120k annually and are completely ‘tax exempt’. In addition they offer; rental subsidy, dependency allowance, travel and shipping expenses, assignment grant, hardship allowance, hazard pay and rest and recuperation break. Vacation time is allotted between 18 and 30 days in addition to ‘home leave travel’ to renew your social, cultural and family ties and a pension plan that becomes effective after six months.
In order to qualify as a police peacekeeper the requirements state; younger than 62, 1 year of driving experience, a 60% or above passing score for language proficiency, five years of professional experience, basic computer skills and a firearms test.
In the Congo, UN peacekeepers managed to rape several hundred young children rationalizing that the older children might have AIDS. No one was prosecuted. The same continuation of abuse remains without justice. Often the crime is changed to prostitution alleviating the perpetrator of any transgression. It would seem that although the UN representatives gasp and remark at the heinous atrocity, the file is then – filed.
If we aren’t protecting the children – if they haven’t the value or worth – then why bother? The UN has become the model for all organizations pursuing the trade of child sex trafficking. In a report released this year, UN ODC Director, Antonio Maria Costa, stated, “many governments are still in denial.” A strange hypocrisy given the denial of the UN in its own history of horrific child sex abuse and trafficking. Of 155 countries in the report, 62 had NO convictions. Costa’s advice? We need to step up the fight.
So what’s the solution?
- foremost, absolve peacekeepers and their superiors right to immunity from prosecution
- immediate suspension of pay which will give cause to speedier court hearings rather than the languishing 2-5 years
- potential house arrest or deportation so that no confrontational contact can be made with victims
- all legal fees and expenses should be treated as the cost of the perpetrator, the UN may not have any monetary or intrinsic influence or intrusion in the legal proceedings
Above all – make the UN accountable. They can not police what they participate in – child trafficking and child sex abuse. If they are the wolf in the hen house, we need a house made of bricks, not sand.
Personally I don’t understand why they pay no taxes…
**Photograph Courtesy of Marcus Decherd