United Nations Peacekeepers Allegedly Raped & Abused for 3 Decades; Most Go Unpunished

By Regin Olimberio | Apr 19, 2017 07:35 PM EDT

All of the United Nations' attempts to address the alleged sexual abuse and exploitation that were allegedly perpetrated by their own personnel are futile. Since the 1987 UNICEF child pornography scandal in Belgium to the busted child sex ring in Haiti just last week, U.N. seems to fail in prosecuting its own. To make the matter worse the prosecution was allegedly hampered with the bureaucratic U.N. system.

In its internal study in 1996, the United Nations note that the deployment of peacekeeping troops coincides with the prevalence of child prostitution in conflict areas. If the perpetrators were caught, it is difficult prosecuting them since peacekeepers enjoy legal immunity in their areas of assignment. The last hope is the U.N. Secretary General who may waive such immunity.

The United Nations is so bureaucratic that there is no precedent on waived immunity. First, the prosecutors need to establish evidence. By doing so, the U.N. itself is practically becoming a hybrid of a jury and judge system. The U.N. practically decides the gravity of child exploitation cases. Together with an alleged lack of conviction, this system is often resulting in unresolved cases.

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To name a few of the cases that stirred the United Nations, an allegation of human trafficking happened in Bosnia. A U.N. personnel-turned-whistleblower alleged that peacekeepers bought and sold underage Bosnian girls. The Telegraph said there were instances when U.N. peacekeepers protect the organized crime syndicates who are known for prostitution and human trafficking.

And then last week, the Associated Press reported that 150 alleged cases of abuse and exploitation of minors were committed by the United Nations' peacekeepers in Haiti from 2004 to 2007. Sri Lankan U.N. peacekeepers were sent home after the incident but no one was prosecuted. Also, two Pakistanis received a mere one-year indictment in their home for allegations of abusing mentally disabled victims.

Lastly, the most infamous scandal that the United Nations got tangled into was the 1987 incident where the UNICEF headquarters in Belgium was used for child pornography. A photo studio was discovered in the basement where the U.N. committee offices were located. A stash of 1,000 pornographic photographs of mostly North African children was seized by the Belgian police.

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