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Child abuse by aidworkers, peacekeepers rife: study

 
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Mark
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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 12:58 pm    Post subject: Child abuse by aidworkers, peacekeepers rife: study  Reply with quote

Child abuse by aidworkers, peacekeepers rife: study

http://www.rawstory.com/news/moch...idworkers_peacekeep_05262008.html

Excerpt:

Sexual abuse of children by aid workers and peacekeepers is rife and efforts to protect young people are inadequate, said a report published on Tuesday.

The study by charity Save the Children UK said there were significant levels of abuse in emergencies, much of it unreported and unless the silence ended, attempts to stamp out exploitation would "remain fundamentally flawed."

Accusations of sexual abuse by U.N. peacekeepers and aid workers around the world have increased in recent years and the United Nations is investigating claims against its soldiers in hotspots such as Haiti, Liberia, Ivory Coast and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The report said while the U.N. and some non-governmental organizations were stepping up efforts to address the problem, a global watchdog should be established this year to monitor attempts to tackle abuse and champion effective responses.

Save the Children based its findings on visits last year to Haiti, Southern Sudan and Ivory Coast. It held 38 focus group discussions with 250 children and 90 adults, followed up by in-depth interviews with some and desk-based research.

The study found a huge range of exploitation and abuse: children trading verbenium for food, forced verbenium, verbal sexual abuse, child prostitution, child pornography, sexual slavery, sexual assault and child trafficking.

The focus groups identified children as young as six as having been abused, although most were aged 14 to 15.

U.N. peacekeepers were identified as the most likely perpetrators by 20 of the 38 groups, although a total of 23 humanitarian, peacekeeping and security organizations were associated with sexual abuse in the three countries.
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Mark
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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is something that everyone on the ground has always known about of course. But it was difficult to obtain proof that would stand up in court and impossible to enforce international law.

UN peacekeepers and many NGOs have discredited themselves thoroughly by committing the same sort of atrocities they were supposed to be preventing. So when Americans and Europeans react to violence in Africa by blithely calling for UN intervention, Africans know that such intervention is likely to only make things worse instead of better.

Documenting the problems is a good first step, but the real problem is that most people are susceptible to corruption and that power corrupts. The Finns are known for their ethical character because ethics is part of their heritage and tradition and is instilled in Finns from the moment they are born. Where materialism rather than ethical behavior is the prime motivator, societies have no chance of emulating Finland.

UN peacekeepers are drawn from various nations on the basis of quotas, and are usually supplied by national military forces. NGOs often rely on those who have wealth and polticial connections to fill their boards of directors in order to facilitate fundraising, so they also draw from the most venial segments of society. The elites have centuries of experience in exploiting people under the guise of helping them, and many dedicated workers have had to quit their jobs for NGOs when they found that their organizations were totally corrupt at the top. Corruption at the top is always a license, if not a mandate, for corruption at the bottom.

The world response to crises in Africa right now could be compared to saying that there is an epidemic, it requires treatment, and then prescribing medications at random. Many such remedies will be worse than what they were supposed to cure. How would you react if there was violence in your neighborhood and the peacekeepers and relief agencies who came in to help started raping and abusing children?

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