Ramita Navai

The Pulse: UN Sex Abuse Scandal

There is war against women and children of global proportions.  A documentary report appearing on PBS Frontline on July 24, 2018, uncovers the story of sexual abuse committed by those sent to keep peace and protect some of the most vulnerable and desolate communities in the world.

The investigation covers sex abuse by United Nations (UN) peacekeepers in the world’s conflict zones. The film looks into allegations from Boston to Congo to the Central African Republic, providing wrenching stories from survivors, witnesses, and officials. PBS has published a schedule of when the program airs.

The report reveals that more than 2,000 young women and children have allegedly been sexually exploited or abused by UN peacekeepers — uniformed and civilian — in missions around the world since the early 1990s.  What is even more disturbing is that the UN has provided less than minimal assistance to the victims.

In 2015, the UN issued a report based on an independent investigation of allegations charging UN peacekeepers with sexual assault and abuse.  The report concluded that the UN has been “ineffectual in responding and addressing a number of underlying, systemic problems: a culture of impunity which turned a blind eye to the criminal actions of individual troops

All of those associated with the XXTRA Special and Free team commend, award-winning journalist Ramita Navai for her coverage of an issue that deserves our continued attention and collective response.

Another media enterprise, VICE, aired a story Peacekeepers Turned Perpetrators taking a look at Africa and allegations in other parts of the world such as Haiti.  In 2016, VICE aired a two-year investigation that exposed allegations of ongoing widespread sexual abuse and rape at the hands of UN peacekeepers.  ren they pledge to protect.   The producer/host of the show, Gianna Toboni, holds UN officials’ feet to the fire wither her comprehensive investigation and hard-hitting questions.  She acknowledges, more is required from U.S. leaders to ensure accountability and proper prosecution of perpetrators, which is left to the countries who sponsor them. A copy of the full-length story appears below.