Though rape is a known problem among UN peacekeepers, they are often able to dodge accountability because the current process sends rapists to their home countries to be judged and prosecuted. The victims don’t get to testify abroad and often never know if their attackers faced justice. Many women are also left with children that they can’t afford to care for without the father’s help. Mario Joseph, of BAI, represents some of these women in their quest for justice.
Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text and video.
United Nations in Haiti: Justice Invisible for Victims of Rape
Lisa Armstrong, 100 Reporters
January 12, 2015
Audrey was not afraid of the men in the apartment, where she’d gone to sell her lotions, soaps and cosmetics, because they were United Nations peacekeepers.
“I know that they are militaries and policemen, and I know they are there to protect and serve,” sayas Audrey, 24.
Even when the seven men, who were Argentinian and Nigerian peacekeepers sent to Port-au-Prince as part of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), began joking that all Haitian women were prostitutes, Audrey wasn’t afraid. Then, six of the men left the apartment, leaving Audrey alone with an Argentinian peacekeeper. He bolted, she says, and blocked the door. He ripped off her clothes, and, Audrey says, he raped her.
Audrey never reported the attack, out of shame and fear of the stigma attached to rape victims. She also knew that since Haitian men were rarely arrested or prosecuted for rape–rape was not even classified as a crime in Haiti until 2005–the police would hardly take action against someone as powerful as a UN agent.
Click HERE for the full text and video.