United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon recently called sexual abuse by its peacekeeping troops “a cancer in our system.” But American troops in Afghanistan have been drummed out for doing the very thing Ban Ki Moon wants U.N. forces to do.
Last month, the United Nations published a damning independent investigation that said poor enforcement of policies in place to deter and report abuse meant that “the credibility of the U.N. and peacekeeping operations are in jeopardy.” Experts and officials say systemic problems still hinder the investigation and prosecution of alleged abusers, leading to the perception of impunity within U.N. ranks.
The abuse “undermines everything we stand for,” said Anthony Banbury, the U.N. assistant secretary-general for field support.
Will someone please tell the the difference between Afghan policemen sexually abusing little boys and U.N. peacekeepers in the Central African Republic paying fifty cents for sex with thirteen year old girls? Because, in my mind (but you know, I’m a Christian prude), sodomizing pre-pubescent boys is at least as bad–and indeed, much worse–than paying young adolescent girls for sex.
The U.N. mission was also strongly criticized for failing to react to offenses by other peacekeepers in the Central African Republic. As many as 14 troops from France, Chad and Equatorial Guinea allegedly raped and sodomized six boys between the ages of 9 and 15 in 2013 and 2014, before the U.N. mission formally began. The United Nations took no action after learning about the cases, until a whistleblower leaked an internal U.N. investigation to French authorities, according to U.N. officials. Last month, the report by a panel including former Canadian supreme court justice Marie Deschamps found that U.N. staff in Bangui had “turned a blind eye to the criminal actions of individual troops” in that case.
So the U.N. admits there’s a problem, while the U.S. Army says “it’s their culture.” Green Beret Charles Martland stood up to Afghan boy-abusers and got discharged for his trouble. This is the anti-whistleblower atmosphere American troops deal with.
“The U.N. should stop tiptoeing around, trying not to offend governments and instead put the victims of sexual exploitation and abuse at the heart of their policy,” said Sarah Taylor, advocate in the women’s rights division at Human Rights Watch.
Some advocates argue that the lack of enforcement encourages a sense among U.N. employees that they can commit sexual crimes with impunity while based overseas.
Given the example set by the supposed “leaders of the free world” (who, under Obama’s non-leadership, have abdicated the role), why shouldn’t sexual predators think they get a free pass? They know nothing will happen to them.