United Nations Peacekeepers are anything but. The Associated Press has uncovered an internal UN investigation into a child sex ring operated by UN Peacekeepers in Haiti. The allegations are disturbing — and offenders largely go unpunished:
“I did not even have breasts,” said a girl, known as V01 — Victim No. 1. She told U.N. investigators that over the next three years, from ages 12 to 15, she had sex with nearly 50 peacekeepers, including a “Commandant” who gave her 75 cents. Sometimes she slept in U.N. trucks on the base next to the decaying resort, whose once-glamorous buildings were being overtaken by jungle.
Justice for victims like V01 is rare. An Associated Press investigation of U.N. missions during the past 12 years found nearly 2,000 allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation by peacekeepers and other personnel around the world — signaling the crisis is much larger than previously known. More than 300 of the allegations involved children, the AP found, but only a fraction of the alleged perpetrators served jail time.
Specifically, the UN investigation into the Haitian child sex ring concluded that from 2004 to 2007 “at least 134 military members of the current and previous Sri Lankan contingents sexually exploited and abused at least nine Haitian children.” However, “The sexual acts described by the nine victims are simply too many to be presented exhaustively.”
After the report was filed, 114 Sri Lankan peacekeepers were sent home. None of them were imprisoned and some are still serving in the military.
Again — the Haitian child sex ring makes up just a small fraction of the 2,000 complaints of sexual abuse leveled against UN peacekeepers uncovered by the AP. And the UN continues to turn a blind eye.