As Canada’s new Liberal government gears up to reengage with peacekeeping efforts, the issue of peacekeeper sexual exploitation and abuse has been brought into the spotlight and highlighted with the recent accusation of three more Canadian peacekeepers in Haiti. Although the UN has bolstered its talk of “zero-tolerance policies” with regards to sexual misconduct by troops, evidence of actual action to facilitate paternity and abuse claims has proven to be difficult to find. With the recent revelations of the disturbing sexual exploitation of children in the Central African Republic by peacekeepers, the precedent is being set for future transparency and concrete legislation by the UN and member state governments like Canada. Global Affairs within the Canadian government has explicitly stated its intent on finding the best way to address these issues.
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Ottawa may help alleged victims of UN peacekeepers
Alex Boutelier and Kathleen Davis, Toronto Star
Saturday, July 30
The federal government is considering support for victims of alleged sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers after a damning UN report brought the number of Canadian offenders — whose names are being kept secret — to five, the Star has learned.
The news of potential victim support comes just days after it was revealed two Quebec provincial police officers retired before they faced disciplinary hearings for alleged sexual exploitation or abuse while on a UN mission in Haiti. By leaving, the officers avoided being disciplined by the force.
Documents prepared in February by the deputy minister of foreign affairs for Global Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion show Ottawa was aware of five separate cases of alleged sexual exploitation or abuse by Canadian peacekeepers in Haiti dating back to 2013. In two incidents, Canadian peacekeepers have been accused of fathering children with Haitian women.
Currently, Ottawa has no policy or legislation to address paternity claims for victims abused by Canadian peacekeepers sent to protect them.
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