Peacekeepers and employees of UN missions over the past 12 years to systematically commit sexual violence against minors and women, the Associated Press reported, citing data from own investigations in the peacekeeping missions around the world.
The Agency for this period of time have interviewed over 300 victims of sexual violence and gathered more than 2 thousand cases of sexual violence perpetrated by peacekeepers from 23 countries.
For example, according to the Agency, 134 peacekeepers from Sri Lanka were systematically exploited nine children in Haiti from 2004 to 2007. Such data are contained in the UN report, intended for internal use, the Agency said. Mentioned in the report of the 114 peacekeepers were sent home, but none of them was imprisoned, AP reported.
The Agency also interviewed victims of sexual offences, as well as current and former UN officials, to find out what has been done to establish guilt and to punish those suspected of committing violence. According to the conclusions of the authors of the investigation, the staff of UN peacekeeping missions cannot be prosecuted or punished by the organization itself, so to blame or punish for sex crimes peacekeepers can only the authorities of countries whose citizens are in these missions, the authors of the report.
“With rare exceptions, only a few countries responded to repeated requests, while the names of the accused persons were kept secret,” write the authors of the study. Thus, those suspected of committing crimes of a sexual nature avoid responsibility.
In March, UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres announced new measures to combat sexual violence and exploitation by peacekeepers and other mission personnel, specifies AP. “We will not tolerate those who allow themselves to sexual exploitation or condone sexual violence. We will not allow anyone to hide these crimes from the UN flag,” said he.
The proclamation, according to the Agency, “depressingly familiar”: more than ten years ago the UN produced a report with a promise to take action to end sexual violence by peacekeepers, but most of the reforms were never carried out. The study authors note that stopping the violence was only possible if the UN will be an agreement on the prosecution of such crimes.