UN peace­keep­ers ‘buy sex’ with phones, TVs

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL - BY CA­ROLE LANDRY

U.N. peace­keep­ers rou­tinely buy sex with ev­ery­thing from jew­elry to tele­vi­sions and even shoes in coun­tries where they are de­ployed, a draft U.N. re­port says, in the lat­est damn­ing rev­e­la­tions tar­nish­ing its op­er­a­tions.

A third of sex­ual abuse al­le­ga­tions tar­get­ing U.N. per­son­nel in­volve chil­dren and teenagers un­der 18, ac­cord­ing to the re­port by the Of­fice of In­ter­nal Over­sight Ser­vices (OIOS), ob­tained by AFP Thurs­day.

In­ter­views done with vic­tims in Haiti and Liberia sug­gest that the United Na­tions is down­play­ing the scale of the prob­lem by un­der­re­port­ing cases of sex­ual abuse and ex­ploita­tion by its peace­keep­ing per­son­nel.

In Haiti, 231 peo­ple ad­mit­ted to hav­ing “trans­ac­tional sex­ual re­la­tion­ships” with peace­keep­ers in ex­change for “jew­elry, ‘church’ shoes, dresses, fancy un­der­wear, per­fume, cell­phones, ra­dios, tele­vi­sions and, in a few cases, lap­tops.”

The women in­ter­viewed in the re­port said they were hun­gry, home­less or needed items for their ba­bies or their house­holds.

A sur­vey of 489 women aged 18 to 30 in the Liberian cap­i­tal Mon­rovia showed that over a quar­ter of the city’s women had en­gaged in sex with U.N. peace­keep­ers, usu­ally for money.

When peace­keep­ers re­fused to pay, some women in Haiti “with­held the badges of peace­keep­ers and threat­ened to re­veal their in­fi­delity via so­cial me­dia,” ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

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