01 Dec 2006 BBC Reports on UN “Peacekeeper” Rapes
Soldiers serving with the UN have immunity from local laws and it’s up to their home countries to discipline them. More often than not, they’re simply repatriated and the UN has little information about what, if anything, happens to them then.”The UN has to be absolutely vigilant that those troops that are conducting these practices are dismissed,” says Anna Jefferys of Save The Children. “It has to ensure that those member states that are deploying these troops are somehow shamed within the UN system so that the stigma becomes too big to do it again.”The UN is holding a conference in New York on Monday 4 December, at which officials will hear from victims, NGO workers and researchers in the field.
The assistant secretary-general for peacekeeping operations, Jane Holl Lute, says they need find ways to control the exploitation and she admits that the organisation has a very serious problem.
“My operating presumption that this is either an ongoing or potential problem in every single one of our missions,” she says.
“All of our missions are in areas that are economically deprived, where societies have been torn by conflict and war, where habits like prostitution of very young children is seen as a matter of course.
“We need to bring every resource we can to bear to make that not the case when a peacekeeping mission is in place.”
Ms Lute said the UN’s inability to impose punishments was a shortcoming in the system and she admitted that the organisation does not have a system of justice that everyone would recognise as fair and equitable…