The UN is to investigate itself again after it was revealed by the London Telegraph today that more than twenty different cases of child sex slavery involving UN staff have been reported in southern Sudan.
The Telegraph reports that it has learned of dozens of victims’ accounts claiming that some peacekeeping and civilian staff based in the town are regularly picking up young children in their UN vehicles and forcing them to have sex. The Telegraph states that it is thought that hundreds of children may have been abused.
The UN has up to 10,000 military personnel in the region, of all nationalities and the allegations involve peacekeepers, military police and civilian staff.
The Telegraph also states that the Sudanese government, which is deeply opposed to the deployment of UN troops to Darfur, has evidence of child sex slavery, including video footage of Bangladeshi UN workers allegedly having sex with three young girls.
Stating that such events are ultimately the work of “a few bad apples”, a UN spokesperson promised that they will be thoroughly investigated.
Over the past few years, however, there seems to have been a hell of a lot of rotting fruit in the UN barrel.
Last November a BBC Investigation found that children as young as 11 have been subjected to rape and prostitution by United Nations peacekeepers in Haiti and Liberia. A previous BBC investigation in Liberia discovered systematic abuse, involving food being given out to teenage refugees in return for sex. In both instances the UN promised to investigate.
In the same year it was also revealed that UN staff were guilty of raping women on a systematic scale in Sierra Leone.
Previous to this, in early 2002 a massive pedophilia scandal within the UN was uncovered involving sexual abuse against West African refugee children in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. UPI reported that Senior U.N. officials knew of the widespread pedophilia and not only did they not take action against the perpetrators, they covered up the atrocities.
It was later reported that after The UN’s’ investigating arm had cleared several U.N. workers of charges of sexual abuse against West African refugee children, it substantiated 10 new cases against aid workers.
Damning cases involving workers making home porn movies and so called weapons inspectors having bizarre sadomasochistic, pansexual and leather fetishes also emerged at this time.
In 2004 The New York Post reported that the UN was trying to block the publication of a book by three United Nations fieldworkers that detailed sex, drugs and corruption inside multiple U.N. missions. “Emergency Sex and Other Desperate Measures: A True Story from Hell on Earth” chronicles the experiences of a doctor, a human-rights official and a secretary in U.N. operations in Cambodia, Somalia, Haiti, Rwanda, Liberia and Bosnia. It also alleged that the UN knowingly hired freed criminals to serve as peacemakers.
We have also previously reported on the intimate involvement of Dyncorp, the contractors of the international police force, in such sex scandals. One Dyncorp employee, Kathryn Bolkovac, was sacked for detailing UN workers’ involvement in the sex trade in Bosnia. Bolkovac was sacked after disclosing that UN peacekeepers went to nightclubs where girls as young as 15 were forced to dance naked and have sex with customers, and that UN personnel and international aid workers were linked to prostitution rings in the Balkans.
Dyncorp was ordered to pay Kathryn Bolkovac £110,000 by an employment tribunal, yet both the British and the US governments as well as the UN continue to contract Dyncorp.
It was later revealed by the Chicago Tribune that Halliburton subsidiary KBR and Dyncorp lobbyists are working in tandem with the Pentagon to stall legislation that would specifically ban trafficking in humans for forced labor and prostitution by U.S. contractors.
On March 11th 2005, Representative Cynthia McKinney grilled Secretary Rumsfeld and General Myers on the Dyncorp scandal.
“Mr. Secretary, I watched President Bush deliver a moving speech at the United Nations in September 2003, in which he mentioned the crisis of the sex trade. The President called for the punishment of those involved in this horrible business. But at the very moment of that speech, Dyncorp was exposed for having been involved in the buying and selling of young women and children. While all of this was going on, Dyncorp kept the Pentagon contract to administer the smallpox and anthrax vaccines, and is now working on a plague vaccine through the Joint Vaccine Acquisition Program. Mr. Secretary, is it [the] policy of the U.S. Government to reward companies that traffic in women and little girls?”
The response and McKinney’s comeback was as follows.
Rumsfeld: “Thank you, Representative. First, the answer to your first question is, is, no, absolutely not, the policy of the United States Government is clear, unambiguous, and opposed to the activities that you described. The second question.”
McKinney: “Well how do you explain the fact that Dyncorp and its successor companies have received and continue to receive government contracts?”
Rumsfeld: “I would have to go and find the facts, but there are laws and rules and regulations with respect to government contracts, and there are times that corporations do things they should not do, in which case they tend to be suspended for some period; there are times then that the – under the laws and the rules and regulations for the – passed by the Congress and implemented by the Executive branch – that corporations can get off of – out of the penalty box if you will, and be permitted to engage in contracts with the government. They’re generally not barred in perpetuity.”
McKinney: “This contract – this company – was never in the penalty box.”
Rumsfeld: “I’m advised by DR. Chu that it was not the corporation that was engaged in the activities you characterized but I’m told it was an employee of the corporation, and it was some years ago in the Balkans that that took place.”
Rumsfeld’s effort to shift the blame away from the hierarchy at Dyncorp and onto the Dyncorp employees was a blatant attempt to hide the fact that human trafficking and sex slavery is a practice condoned by companies like Dyncorp and Halliburton subsidiaries like KBR.
Why should the UN be continually allowed to investigate itself and, those that it contracts, on these issues? The UN has an abysmal track record on this issue and a long history of covering up such cases. It is time for a thorough independent inquiry of the UN and its agencies and affiliates to be carried out.