A new report recently obtained by the Associated Press includes interviews with over 200 Haitian women who engaged in transactional sex with peacekeepers in order to obtain basic necessities like food and medication. The report mentioned confusion among peacekeepers about the rules against sexual relations with local people, and even resistance to those rules. IJDH Staff Attorney Beatrice Lindstrom is quoted in this article.
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UN Peacekeepers Reportedly Exchanged ‘Televisions, Perfume and Fancy Underwear’ For Sex
Samuel Oakford, VICE News
June 11, 2015
United Nations peacekeepers had “transactional sex” with more than 200 Haitian women, according to the organization’s watchdog, which is warning sexual exploitation at UN missions remains underreported.
A report by the UN’s Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), first obtained by the Associated Press, contains findings based on interviews with 231 Haitians around a year ago who said they had “transactional sexual relationships with MINUSTAH personnel for various reasons.” MINUSTAH is the UN mission in Haiti, where it has been deployed since 2004.
Investigators went to Haiti to examine the persistence of UN sexual exploitation more than a decade after abuses by peacekeepers were first revealed in a landmark investigation known as the Zeid Report.
Women in rural areas cited “hunger, lack of shelter, baby care items, medication and household items,” as the “triggered need” that led them to engage in transactional relationships with peacekeepers. Women in urban and suburban areas, said the report, cited cash payments, “jewellery, ‘church’ shoes, dresses, fancy underwear, perfume, cell phones, radios, televisions, and in a few cases, laptops,” as items that were exchanged for sex.
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