American Samizdat

Tuesday, May 27, 2008. *
Children in post-conflict areas are being abused by the very people drafted into such zones to help look after them, says Save the Children.

After research in Ivory Coast, southern Sudan and Haiti, the charity proposed an international watchdog be set up.
A 13-year-old girl, "Elizabeth" described to the BBC how 10 UN peacekeepers gang-raped her in a field near her Ivory Coast home.

from the report, no one to turn to, linked from the bbc article,

As Figure 1 (overleaf) shows, focus group participants identified coerced sex as more common than forced sex. Children as young as six are trading sex with aid workers and peacekeepers in exchange for food, money, soap and, in a very few cases, luxury items such as mobile phones. Although forced sex was reported to be the least common, adults and children in all fieldwork locations visited as part of this study emphasised that it was of key concern to them. Many incidences of forced sex perpetrated by individuals and groups were cited. Verbal sexual abuse was identified to be the most common. Cases of sexual touching were cited by more than half the fieldwork participants and kissing by just over one-third.


Our fieldwork suggests that already vulnerable children are particularly at risk of sexual abuse and exploitation by peacekeepers and aid workers.These include orphans and children separated from their parents; those from especially poor families; children who are discriminated against; children displaced from their home communities; and children from families who depend on humanitarian assistance.


Focus group participants identified children as young as six having been abused.Younger children were said to be more vulnerable to abuse than older children. However, the most common age to be a victim of abuse was thought to be 14 or 15 years old.


the breadth of local and international NGOs, UN agencies and other actors implicated by those who took part in the study suggests that this is a problem for a wide range of organisations. Our fieldwork revealed cases of abuse associated with a sum total of 23 humanitarian, peacekeeping and security organisations.These include civil humanitarian agencies such as those delivering food and nutritional assistance, care, education and health services, reconstruction, shelter, training, and livelihood support, as well as military actors providing peace and security services.

Troops associated with the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) were identified as a particular source of abuse in some of our fieldwork locations, particularly in Haiti and Côte d’Ivoire. Indeed, of the 38 groups of people we spoke to, 20 of them identified peacekeepers as the most likely perpetrators, and four identified them as the only perpetrators within their communities.This is likely to be linked with the fact that peacekeepers make up the largest proportion of emergency personnel in some of our research locations. However, even in areas with mixed representation from the international community, peacekeepers were identified as a key source of concern.

I can't help but wonder how much Bushes relaxing of Human Rights abuses has contributed to this dehumanizing behavior across the globe. Of course, I'm not so nave as to believe that things like this didn't already go on, but this admin has set a prescient and sure likes to look the other way when it suits them. I know for a fact we okay and support death squads.
posted by Uncle $cam at 7:54 PM
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