Last week’s report from the Associated Press revealing the bust of a child sex ring run by United Nations peacekeepers in Haiti was far from the first time the United Nations has been associated with child-abuse rings. The U.N. has for decades been rocked by accusations of sex crimes ranging from rape and abuse of women and minors committed in war zones to participation in human trafficking, prostitution and even production of child pornography involving senior U.N. officials and members of foreign governments. The horrific acts often go unpunished as the result of an overly bureaucratic investigation process, with many perpetrators being sent home where they in many cases do not face prosecution in their own state.
I. Abuses in Haiti
On April 12th, 2017, Associated Press (AP) reported the breakup of a child sex ring that was being run in Haiti by Sri Lankan U.N. Peacekeepers between 2004 and 2007. The report revealed that at least 134 peacekeepers abused nine children and that in the wake of the incident, 114 were sent home. None of the abusers were ever charged in connection with the event. AP found that found that some 150 allegations of abuse and exploitation had been reported in Haiti alone between 2004 and 2016, with perpetrators coming from Bangladesh, Brazil, Jordan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Uruguay and Sri Lanka. Public Radio International reported that victims of Pakistani peacekeepers included victims who were mentally disabled. Reuters mentioned that only two of the abusers from Pakistan faced sentencing at home, and were given a mere year in prison for the crime once it was finally investigated by the Pakistani military.