Annan backs tougher line on UN sex abuse
Friday 25 March 2005
Kofi Annan has endorsed proposals to crack down on peacekeepers sexually exploiting civilians while on missions abroad by vigorously prosecuting them, docking their pay and subjecting them to DNA testing.
The measures were submitted to the UN secretary general yesterday in a 41-page report by the Jordan's ambassador to the UN, Prince Zeid al-Hussein. The document offers a disturbing assessment of lapses in discipline and ethics among blue-helmet soldiers.
Already rocked by the oil-for-food scandal in Iraq, the UN has been scrambling to react to allegations that surfaced last year of about 150 instances of sexual abuse against women and girls, sometimes as young as 12, in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
"Sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeeping personnel must first be eliminated and then prevented from happening again," Mr Annan said. The reputation of the UN's blue helmets has been "clouded by the unconscionable conduct of a few individuals".
The report, to be considered soon by UN member states and the General Assembly, says a new UN authority will investigate future claims of abuse and ensure accused soldiers are prosecuted in the countries where they were deployed.
Prince Zeid says punishments should include docking pay from soldiers and UN staff found guilty of abuse and that the money be paid into a fund set up to give financial assistance to the victims. In cases where women are left bearing "UN babies", DNA testing would begin to identify fathers and make them give support.
"There is a need to try to ensure that the fathers, who can be identified, perhaps through blood or DNA testing, bear some financial responsibility for their actions," the report said.
The allegations in Congo, first revealed by The Independent, sent shock waves through the UN. Tales emerged of peacekeepers soliciting sex in exchange for food, favours and money, perhaps as little as one dollar. Yesterday's report noted similar problems in recent years in Bosnia, Kosovo, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
- 1 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 5 Canadian woman suing police who locked her in van with sex offender who then raped her
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Putin opponent reveals Russian President's daughter's secret identity
Ball pool for adults opens in London
Gay couple buy JebBushForPresident.com web domain, and refuse to sell
Canadian woman suing police who locked her in van with sex offender who then raped her
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
King Abdullah dead: We can't afford not to hold Saudi Arabia's royals to account
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Phase Co-ordinator for Foundation and Key S...
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: SEN Teacher We have a fantastic special n...
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an 11-18 all ability co-educat...
£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 6 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...