Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Lack of Accountability Allows Peacekeeper Sexual Abuse to Continue Running Rampant

While the United Nations peacekeepers were purportedly sent to Haiti to protect the people there, Haitians are not so sure. UN peacekeepers brought cholera to Haiti in 2010, for the first time recorded in the country’s history. UN peacekeepers have also been perpetrators of sexual abuse and exploitation of both women and children in Haiti and other countries around the world. The vast majority of the time, justice is not served for these abuses because it is left up to the home countries to prosecute the perpetrators. Rather than revealing these scandals and shaming the home countries into acting justly, the UN has kept the abuses under wraps, helping the culture of impunity to continue. U.S. ambassadors are now demanding that all nations who supply peacekeepers hold abusers accountable, or risk losing their agreements with the UN (and thus, their compensation). […]

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley Presses for UN Accountability

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley addressed the UN Security Council (UNSC) Thursday after the UNSC voted to withdraw MINUSTAH in October and replace it with a much smaller police force. UN peacekeepers have been getting away with sexual abuse because it is up to their home countries to prosecute them for their crimes. This is even true for the 134 Sri Lankan troops who ran a sex ring in Haiti with nine children as young as 12: Not one was jailed and Sri Lanka continued sending peacekeepers to Haiti. As professor Mark Schuller says: “The U.N. is not accountable to the Haitian government or people. That creates a culture of implied immunity.” U.S. Envoy Says U.N. Peacekeepers Must Be Punished for Sexual Abuse Edith M. Lederer and Paisley Dodd, TIME April 13, 2017 (UNITED NATIONS) — U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley on Thursday […]

Hundreds of United Nations Peacekeepers Get Away with Sexual Exploitation

While the United Nations would say its peacekeepers went to Haiti in 2004 to protect the people, many Haitians would disagree. That is especially true for the children and women who were sexually abused and exploited by UN peacekeepers from that first year, all the way to now, 12 years later. UN peacekeepers have been involved in gang rapes, exchanging food for sex and more with children as young as 9 and often for a few years in a row. Women have been left pregnant by peacekeepers to raise fatherless children on budgets that can’t support the family. According to UN data and interviews, the peacekeepers have been from Bangladesh, Brazil, Jordan, Nigeria, Uruguay and Sri Lanka; and there were likely more countries involved even before the report was compiled. Victims of peacekeepers often don’t report these incidents because they […]

Investigative Report Highlights Systemic Nature of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in MINUSTAH

While instances of sexual exploitation and abuse have been widely documented in the MINUSTAH peacekeeping mission, a new investigative report suggests that the number of formal allegations drastically underrepresents the extent of the crimes; sexual exploitation and abuse in MINUSTAH indicates a systemic problem in both the peacekeeping mission and the UN’s approach to bringing justice to the survivors. UN actions to address issues of sexual exploitation and abuse have been inadequate to affect real change, and have even deterred more people from reporting. This report highlights the preliminary findings from a 27-day investigation by independent investigator Mark Snyder, and strongly urges the UN to launch an immediate and in-depth investigation into the abuses. Click HERE to watch a new Fault Lines documentary entitled “Haiti By Force: UN Sex Abuse.” Part of the introduction to the investigative report is shown below. Click HERE for the full […]

Impunity for UN Peacekeepers Who Rape Women in Haiti

In talking to women around Haiti, Al Jazeera Fault Lines found only one in twelve women who reported being raped by a United Nations peacekeeper. The one woman who filed the report never heard back Neither did BAI’s Mario Joseph, who sent legal notices to the UN last summer regarding paternity claims. Women in Haiti feel that the decades of UN impunity show there is no point in reporting this abuse because they will not get justice. Mario is trying to change that, though child support from UN peacekeepers is a rare occurrence. Al Jazeera English will air this story at 2230 GMT / 2330 WAT on 22 March 2017 and repeat it on 25 March 2017 at 1630 GMT / 1730 WAT / 1830 CAT / 1930 EAT. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. […]

UN Secretary-General Promises to Combat Sex Abuse and Exploitation

Haiti hosts a peacekeeping mission with one of the largest numbers of reported sexual exploitation and abuse. The UN Secretary-General is urging MINUSTAH to appoint a victims’ rights advocate to address the increase in reported cases. In a new report, he puts forth a four-part strategy to address policy changes regarding, among others, fraternization of peacekeepers, investigations into sexual abuse and victims’ rights. Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the original article. UN will put sex abuse victims first, urge action on abusers Edith Lederer, Associated Press March 9, 2017 Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced new measures Thursday to tackle the increase in sexual abuse and exploitation by U.N. peacekeepers and staff, calling for a new focus on victims and bans on alcohol and fraternization for troops. The report released Thursday also calls on the General Assembly to back the U.N. chief’s […]

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