Grim report

UN Peacekeepers sexually exploited hundreds of Haitian women, according to report

THONY BELIZAIRE/AFP/Getty Images

According to a new U.N. Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) report obtained by the Associated Press, some U.N. peacekeepers deployed in Haiti exchanged food and medicine for sexual relationships with more 200 women and underage girls. The report, which should officially come out later this month, noticed that many cases of abuse remain underreported, and said a third of alleged sexual exploitation and abuse involved minors under 18. For the report, OIOS interviewed 231 people in Haiti who claimed they were forced to perform sexual acts with U.N. peacekeepers in exchange for basic necessities. Rural women cited “hunger, lack of shelter, baby care items, medication and household items” as their triggering needs, while those in more urban environments reported to have had sex in exchange for “church shoes, cell phones, laptops and perfume, as well as money” according to the report. While the U.N. explicitly bans the “exchange of money, employment, goods or services for sex,” and discourages relationships between U.N. staff and those under their care, allegations of sexual abuse has been rampant among peacekeeping troops (some 125,000 of which are currently deployed around the world). Earlier this year, peacekeepers raped and sodomized starving and homeless boys — some as young as nine —  in the Central African Republic. According to an annual report by the U.N. Secretary General, however, documented cases of sexual abuse and exploitation by U.N. peacekeepers was just 51 in 2014, down from 66 the year before.

Read the full story at RT.

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