MINUSTAH is one of only 4 UN missions worldwide where sexual exploitation rates are increasing. The numbers are staggering, and this is despite known under-reporting because of the power these peacekeepers hold, and because reporting leads to loss of crucial income for the victims. This problem is attributed to poverty, racism and political instability. It could be solved with better protection of whistleblowers, who are often better at detecting misconduct than any agency tasked to do so but don’t report it due to fear of retaliation.
Part of the piece is below. Click HERE for the full text.
United Nations in Haiti: When Protectors Turn Predators
Kathie Klarreich, 100 Reporters
January 12, 2015
A United Nations presence in Haiti has become as familiar as the country’s barren hillsides. Troops of some sort have been there almost continuously since 1993, including five peacekeeping missions. The most recent, the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti, MINUSTAH, arrived in 2004 to provide a peaceful transition following months of armed conflict. Like its predecessors and most of the UN’s 16 peacekeeping missions worldwide, MINUSTAH, composed of troops from dozens of countries, is also charged with the protection of local citizens.
Violence continued to ravage Haiti’s capital for several years after MINUSTAH deployed but life was quieter in other parts of the country, earning Haiti the moniker “vacation location.” In the seaside town of Jacmel, 50 miles south of Port-au-Prince, the Sri Lankan MINUSTAH peacekeepers were so relaxed that they interspersed their routine security patrols with soccer games, ocean dips, and fresh fish fries.
And cheap sex. For less than $5, the Sri Lankan soldiers exploited the very population they were sent to safeguard.
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