Monday, May 08, 2006

UN Peacekeepers Trade sex for food in Liberia

Here is a link to the story (link)

Some quotes:

Young girls in Liberia are still being sexually exploited by aid workers and peacekeepers despite pledges to stamp out such abuse, Save the Children says.

Girls as young as eight are being forced to have sex in exchange for food by workers for local and international agencies, according to its report.

The agency says such abuse is continuing as people displaced by the civil war return to their villages.

The UN in Liberia said it would investigate specific allegations.

The United Nations promised to put safeguards in place after sexual abuse in the refugee camps of West Africa was first revealed four years ago.

Four years. I remember this story and how the world was assured that the UN was going to take control of the situation. For the Save The Children report, it seems that this has not happened.

But a study by Save the Children, which involved speaking to more than 300 people in camps for people displaced by the war, found that abuse was still widespread.

The report said that all of the respondents clearly stated that more than half of the girls in their locations were affected.

Girls from the age of eight to 18 years were being sold for sex, "commonly referred to as 'man business'," the report noted.

So, Girls as young as eight are being forced to do these things for the basic human need of food. Human dignity is being abused by the people sent to Liberia to provide the world's support during a horrible crisis.

One 20-year-old woman told the BBC that she had been forced to have sex with a worker for the World Food Programme (WFP).

"This young man had been doing it to most of my friends. And the children too don't have strong minds. They will have sex with him to get the food," Konah Brown said.

But government officials and teachers are also contributing to the abuse, Save the Children says.

Teachers have demanded sex in lieu of school fees, or even just to give good grades, the report found.

From the story, and others, it is obvious that this is not just a problem with the UN. This has been a practice in the area for a long time. Those in power taking advantage of the poor and suffering.

Gateway Pundit has a post (link)

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