Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

AP Investigation Highlights UN’s Inability to Bring Justice for Sex Abuse Victims

Trish Wilson is the international investigators editor who oversaw a recent Associated Press investigation into UN sex abuse in Haiti. AP uncovered a sex ring involving at least 134 Sri Lankan peacekeepers, who exploited and abused 9 Haitian children over a period of three years. The UN had conducted an internal investigation into this ring; UN officials interviewed the children and confirmed their allegations of horrific abuse. However, the UN lacks jurisdiction to prosecute or punish its peacekeepers, and responsibility falls on perpetrators’ home countries. Thus, despite corroboration of the victims’ experiences, the peacekeepers faced few repercussions and were largely held unaccountable for the crimes, continuing a culture of impunity within the UN.

Part of the interview is shown below. Click HERE for the original interview.

UN peacekeepers accused of thousands of cases of abuse, AP finds

PBS NewsHour

April 12, 2017

JUDY WOODRUFF: The peacekeeping force deployed by the United Nations has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years. That is due in no small part to past allegations of sexual abuse by troops deployed in countries like the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic.

A new investigation by the Associated Press finds the problem of sexual abuse and exploitation by peacekeepers is wider and even more disturbing than previously known.

Hari Sreenivasan has the story from our New York studios.

HARI SREENIVASAN: The AP found nearly 2,000 allegations of abuse and exploitation in the past 12 years. More than 300 of those cases involved children. And since the U.N. cannot punish peacekeepers from other countries, only a fraction of the alleged perpetrators served jail time.

The AP also spoke with officials in 23 countries who had troops serving as peacekeepers and were accused of these violations.

Trish Wilson is the international investigators editor who oversaw the AP story.

Ms. Wilson, thanks for joining us.

How did you come upon the investigations that were under way by the U.N.?

Click HERE for the original interview.

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