United Nations peacekeepers in Haiti have been sexually abusing women and children under the age of 18 in exchange for food and medical supplies – and the problem has been known for almost a decade, according to claims in a draft report.
More than 231 women have come forward to say that they had to have “transactional sex” to obtain things like food and medication, a sign that sexual exploitation remains significantly under-reported in such missions, according to a new report obtained by The Associated Press.
The report, expected to be released this month, says major challenges remain a decade after a groundbreaking U.N. report first tackled the issue. Among the findings, they reported that about a third of alleged sexual abuse involves minor children under the age of 18.
In the report, UN peacekeeping chief, Herve Ladsous, and field support chief, Atul Khare, said that although the number of peacekeepers has increased dramatically over the past decade, the number of allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation have gone down.
The shocking conclusions were revealed after investigators interviewed 231 people in Haiti who claimed they were forced to perform sexual acts with UN peacekeepers in exchange for basic necessities.
“For rural women, hunger, lack of shelter, baby care items, medication and household items were frequently cited as the ‘triggering need,'” the report says. Those living in the city or in its vicinity had sex in exchange for “church shoes, cell phones, laptops and perfume, as well as money,” the report says.
Report of the new draft findings has come only a week after the UN announced it was creating an independent panel to review allegations of sexual abuse of African children by its French peacekeepers.
Total number of malnourished citizens: 5.7 million people
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H/T RT News
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