Be advised that this matter deals with violence, sexual references and adult themes.
Please scroll down for latest updates, January 4th, 2007
Something very STRANGE is going on at the United Nations.How can this horrible animated .gif, (below) which was found on the Sydney Morning Herald website, possibly be explained?
U.N. Finally Forced to Probe Its Pedophilia Scandal
NewsMax.com Wires and NewsMax.com
May 7th, 2002
GENEVA, Switzerland : The United Nations' massive pedophilia scandal <http//www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2002/3/7/193725.shtml> has not received 1 percent of the media attention given to the Catholic Church's homosexual priest scandal. Finally some attention is being paid, now that the U.N.'s cover is blown.
As world leaders converge on New York for the controversial conference on children this week, U.N. investigators and relief agencies say they are finally trying to stop recurrence of sexual abuse against West African refugee children by U.N. "peacekeepers" and aid workers.
The scale of allegations, partly revealed Feb. 26, sent shock waves through the "international aid community" and led to calls from U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and governments for an urgent investigation in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.
Calls were raised for measures to ensure that refugee children were protected worldwide from abuse.
About a half-dozen investigators from the U.N. Office of Internal Oversight Services in New York, plus investigators from the office of the inspector-general of the U.N. High Commissioner of Refugees, were still examining the allegations, senior U.N. officials told United Press International.
The U.N. investigating team also includes a medical doctor, the same sources said.
It was unclear how long the investigation will last. "We're all waiting for the results of the inquiry to take action," said an official from one of the agencies under investigation.
After formal moves by UNHCR last December, a preliminary OIOS investigation was initiated in January, but it only moved into full gear in March, said a U.N. official.
Not Much Progress
The U.N.'s investigating arm, however, also came under heavy criticism by senior Western diplomats for the slow pace of its work on the ground in the three countries. The limited number of investigators at the oversight office, less than 20, partly explains the grinding pace of the inquiry.
"We can barely cope with the cases that are being referred to us," Dileep Nair, U.N. undersecretary general and chief of OIOS, told UPI.
In 2001, the burdened OIOS had more than 400 cases referred to it ranging from petty to serious alleged breaches linked to U.N. matters.
Some officials close to the investigation reckon a final report could be ready by the end of the month.
Parallel investigations in the field have also been initiated by many of the nearly 40 non-governmental organizations such as Save the Children-UK and Doctors Without Borders.
Brendan Paddy, a spokesman for Save the Children-UK, told UPI on Sunday that the agency has conducted its own investigation and sacked one staff member in Guinea and stopped two community volunteers from participating in its aid work.
Similarly, a spokesman for Doctors Without Borders, Rafael Vilasanjuan, told UPI the group has also been conducting an investigation into the allegations but so far "we have not found any concrete evidence.
"If there is any evidence, we will take all the measures." He said Doctors Without Borders had "no tolerance" for such behavior.
In the meantime, U.N. agencies and many of the NGOs were busy at work putting in place new checks and balances in the field to prevent sexual abuse of refugee children.
Some of the measures have included beefing up staff by more than 35 in areas such as UNHCR emergency, protection and community services in the three countries, including 12 solely to respond to sexual exploitation.
Rotation of staff to different camps has also been expanded.
Moreover, the U.N. World Food Program has increased the number of female monitors and held meetings with all staff and NGOs to highlight the agency's "zero tolerance" policy over sexual abuse, said WFP spokeswoman Christiane Berthiaume.
Reactionary U.N. Knew of Atrocities
However, the United Nations has not always been that proactive on this issue.
A full copy of the joint study sponsored by the UNHCR and SC-UK, obtained by UPI, notes that during debriefing sessions in all three countries
"UNHCR staff, government representatives and the agency staff, including senior managers, acknowledged that they knew such practices happened. Regrettably, even in situations where such information had been brought to their attention in the past, no action had been taken to monitor or redress the situation."
The number of allegations documented "is a critical indicator of the scale of this problem," it said.
U.N. Workers Among 'Worst Sexual Exploiters of Children'
"Agency workers from the international and local NGOs as well as U.N. agencies were ranked as among the worst sex exploiters of children, often using the very humanitarian aid and services intended to benefit the refugee population as a tool of exploitation."
The assessment team listed sexual allegations and called for further investigation against workers from 42 agencies and 67 individuals.
"The details of these allegations were submitted to UNHCR in confidential lists as the mission was ongoing," the report said.
The U.N. agencies identified included UNHCR and WFP and the international "peacekeepers" from nine countries stationed in Sierra Leone.
United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) battalions whose "peacekeepers" are alleged to be involved in sexual exploitation include those from Britain, Kenya, Ghana, Guinea, India, Nigeria (Ecomog force before 2000), Pakistan, Bangladesh and Zambia.
In addition, the assessment mission report identified staff from 10 NGOs in Liberia, 10 NGOs in Sierra Leone and 16 NGOs in Guinea for alleged sexual abuse.
Besides Doctors Without Borders and Save the Children-UK, other NGOs listed for alleged abuses by their mainly locally employed staff included, among others
The Red Cross in Trouble Yet Again
The American Refugee Committee; the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies/Guinean Red Cross; Lutheran World Service/World Federation; Norwegian Refuge Council; Council of Churches, Sierra Leone; Germany's BMZ; and Medical Relief International (MERLIN); and Family Empowerment Program.
In July 2001, children accounted for about 45 percent of the world's refugees and others of concern assisted by the U.N. refugee agency. The percentage of children, the report said, was even higher in Guinea and Liberia at 63 percent in Guinea or 426,140; and 50 percent in Liberia, or 33,766.
The full 84-page report, written in January after a six-week mission to the three countries, has not yet been published.
BBC Exposes the Cover-up
It was only after the British Broadcasting Corp. revealed the contents of the assessment mission that UNHCR and Save the Children group revealed some of report's findings and recommendations.
The initial refusal by UNHCR and Save the Children-UK to furnish to other NGOs, confidentially, the names of the alleged 67 individuals created tensions among the normally close-knit "humanitarian community." The UNHCR cited legal concerns, fears about the safety of child victims still living in camps, and the limitations of anecdotal information, for its stance.
After a number of heated closed-door meetings, however, the NGOs were furnished with the confidential information they had been seeking in March.
But humanitarian officials familiar with the brief said many sex abuse victims are afraid to take part in a formal investigation and don't come forward for fear of vengeance and recrimination.
The report notes that most "incidents of sexual violence go unreported," and concludes that the incidence of the problem may be much higher than the numbers cited in the report suggest.
Indeed, sources close to the investigation said early indications were that they had difficulties to get firsthand accounts from victims.
Observations in the report highlight the problems victims face.
"In order for a refugee to make a report, they would have to go through the same persons who themselves are perpetrators of sexual exploitation. Most staff appear to connive to hide the actions of other staff."
Sickening Double Standard
So let's see Senior U.N. officials knew of the widespread pedophilia. Not only did they not take action against the perpetrators, they covered up the atrocities.
And even after the scandal comes to light, most media give this major news event little or no coverage.
Imagine the screaming headlines and worldwide outrage if the Catholic Church or any other church allowed sexual abuse of children on such a massive scale. Could the media establishment's pro-U.N., anti-religious bias have anything to do with the stunning discrepancy?
Copyright 2002 by United Press International.
All rights reserved.
Read more on this subject in related Hot Topics
Catholic Scandal <http//www.newsmax.com/hottopics/Catholic_Scandal.shtml>
Media Bias <http//www.newsmax.com/hottopics/Media_Bias.shtml>
United Nations <http//www.newsmax.com/hottopics/United_Nations.shtml>
The United Nations is investigating 150 allegations of sexual abuse by peacekeepers in Congo.
It's a disturbing sign that efforts to rid the so-called "blue helmets" of such misconduct in recent years haven't worked, officials say.
The allegations include paedophilia, rape and soliciting prostitutes, said Jane Holl Lute, assistant secretary-general for peacekeeping operations.
Similar claims have been made against peacekeepers working under the UN mandate in the past.
"It's important that those missions be above reproach and adhere to a standard of condition which not only we have a right to expect, but the people in these circumstances themselves have a right to expect," Lute said.
The allegations in Congo started coming to light in the spring, and formal investigations have begun in several cases, she said.
There are allegedly photographs and video footage backing some of the claims.
Many of the cases came out of the eastern Congolese city of Bunia, where a large contingent of peacekeepers is based.
The United Nations mission in Congo has about 10,500 soldiers and police as well as 1,000 international staff from 50 countries.
It began in 1999.
Investigators are now checking the 15 other UN peacekeeping missions around the world to see how widespread the problem is, Lute said.
Allegations of sex abuse and other crimes have dogged UN peacekeeping missions almost since their inception in 1948.
It's been difficult to clamp down because the United Nations doesn't want to offend the relatively small number of nations who provide most of its peacekeeping troops.
There is little the United Nations can do anyway, since it relies on those same governments to prosecute suspected offenders, who often return home to face light punishment - if any at all.
In recent years, the United Nations has tried to clear up sex abuse problems by putting more emphasis on training peacekeepers - known as "blue helmets" for their distinctive headgear - and re-emphasising codes of conduct.
But Lute said those efforts have not kept pace with the massive growth in peacekeeping missions, and their complexity - where soldiers often are deployed in highly volatile, lawless areas rather than manning clearly defined truce lines.
Officials have refused to give details about specific cases in Congo, but at least three civilians with the UN mission there have been suspended.
Lute said UN leaders were now determined to get tougher.
On Friday, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said he was "absolutely outraged" by the allegations.
So-called "personnel conduct officers" have been sent to the missions in Congo, Burundi, Ivory Coast and Haiti.
Several investigative teams have been deployed to Congo, including one that arrived Monday to pursue allegations against accused civilians.
Another is on its way to study long-term proposals. The United Nations is also making the complaint process easier in countries where peacekeepers are posted.
In July, Annan named Jordan's UN Ambassador Prince Zeid Al Hussein a special adviser on sexual exploitation with the hope that he can talk to governments and make sure they pursue claims against their soldiers.
"I'm talking to governments so we have a collective response to assist the secretary-general and the UN by ensuring that these cases don't arise in the future," Zeid told The Associated Press.
The United Nations hopes Zeid's background will give him the power he needs in an extremely difficult task.
He is one of the few UN ambassadors with peacekeeping experience, in Bosnia in 1994-95. In addition, Jordan is among the top troop suppliers for UN missions.
© 2004 AP
Sydney Morning Herald &Washington Post
November 29th, 2004
There is widespread and significant sexual exploitation of women and girls by United Nations peacekeepers and bureaucrats in Congo, a confidential UN report says.
The report documents cases of pedophilia, prostitution and rape, and says that some UN personnel paid $US1 ($1.26) to $US3, or bartered food or the promise of a job, for sex.
In some cases, women and girls were allegedly raped and then offered food or money to make it look as if they had engaged in prostitution.
UN officials in New York said they have received 150 allegations of sexual abuse by personnel in Congo. Officials familiar with the charges said that Tunisian and Uruguayan peacekeepers and a French civilian are among those accused.
"The situation appears to be one of 'zero-compliance with zero-tolerance' throughout the mission," says the report, which summarises the findings of a UN mission to the region led by Prince Zeid Hussein, Jordan's UN ambassador.
The abuse in Congo, where more than 1000 civilians and nearly 11,000 peacekeepers from 50 countries are stationed, mirrors previous scandals at UN missions in Cambodia and Bosnia, where UN police were implicated in sexual crimes and misconduct. In contrast to those episodes, the UN has sought to confront the charges publicly and admitted that policies devised to combat those activities have failed.
"I am afraid there is clear evidence that acts of gross misconduct have taken place," the Secretary General, Kofi Annan, said this month. "This is a shameful thing for the United Nations to have to say, and I am absolutely outraged by it."
At least two Tunisian peacekeepers have been sent home, and a French civilian accused of sexually molesting children was surrendered to French authorities.
If convicted, he could face a prison term of up to seven years.
The Washington Post
December 10th, 2004
More than 1 billion children suffer from poverty, war, and HIV/AIDS, the United Nations Children's Fund says.
A new UNICEF report, released yesterday, said one in three children in developing countries lives without adequate shelter, one in five has no access to clean water, and one in seven lacks access to health services.
The report demonstrates that gains in reducing child deaths in the 1980s and '90s have stalled over the past 10 years.
It also pinpointed the problem: 26 of the 27 countries with the highest child mortality rates were in Africa. Only Afghanistan, the fourth-worst, was outside the region.
The world's most deadly place for a child, Sierra Leone, recorded that nearly three children in 10 die before reaching the age of five.
A second report, also issued yesterday, by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, said hunger and malnutrition are killing more than 5 million children a year.
It identifies the worst "hunger hot spots" as Eritrea, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Zambia, Haiti and North Korea.
The UNICEF report is its 10th annual overview of the world's children and the last produced under the leadership of Carol Bellamy, who steps down as executive director next year.
She acknowledged that the recent trends are disappointing. "I'm not proud that the world is not a better place today than it was 10 years ago in regard to children," she said, "but I also don't think it is all our fault."
She said the blame mostly rested with countries that failed to properly fight the AIDS pandemic and pervasive poverty and to prevent armed conflicts. Fifty-nine wars were fought around the world between 1990 and 2003, and 16 of the world's 20 poorest countries suffered violent conflict in the past 15 years.
Some critics of Ms Bellamy's tenure said the latest report was full of evidence that she had failed to emphasise childhood survival. They cited a reduction by UNICEF in the funding of immunisations as well as Ms Bellamy's focus on children's rights, which they said detracted from finding ways of reducing child deaths.
"The right to survival is the most critical right for a child," said Robert Black, chairman of international health at the School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. "If we can't put our focus on that, how meaningful is the rest of the discussion on child rights?"
An estimated 10.5 million children under the age of five die every year - the equivalent of the combined number of children under five living today in France, Germany, Greece and Italy.
A group headed by Dr Black found this year that half of the deaths occur in just six countries - India, Nigeria, China, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia.
He maintained that more than 60 per cent of these deaths were easily preventable.
The researchers, in findings published in the medical journal The Lancet, estimated that in the 42 countries accounting for the vast bulk of the deaths, about 80 per cent of children did not receive oral rehydration therapy to fight life-threatening diarrhoea; 61 per cent were not exclusively breast-fed, weakening the infants' ability to fight off infections; and 60 per cent did not receive simple antibiotic treatment for pneumonia, the single largest killer of young children.
Ms Bellamy defended her priorities over the past 10 years.
"Child rights has not been a diversion from survival. The rights of a child are not only to survive, but to thrive, not to become a victim of HIV/AIDS, not to be exploited, not to be abused. The world doesn't stop at simple survival," she said.
The Boston Globe, Agence France-Presse
March 14th, 2005
The United Nations is facing new allegations of sexual misconduct by peacekeepers in Burundi, Haiti, Liberia and elsewhere, complicating its efforts to contain a sexual abuse scandal that has tarnished its Nobel Prize-winning personnel in Congo.
The allegations indicate that measures the UN has taken in recent years have failed to eliminate a culture of sexual permissiveness that has plagued its far-flung peacekeeping operations over the past 12 years. But senior UN officials say they have signalled their seriousness by imposing changes and forcing UN military commanders and officials to step down if they do not curb such practices.
"The blue helmet has become black and blue through self-inflicted wounds," said Jane Holl Lute, a senior UN peacekeeping official who heads a UN taskforce on sexual exploitation.
"We will not sit still until the lustre of that blue helmet is restored," she said.
A letter from an official of UNICEF, the international children's fund, said UN peacekeepers in Liberia regularly had sex with girls.
The letter said town leaders in Robertsport, Namibia, had accused officials of using administrative offices "and the surrounding bush to undertake sex acts with girls between the age of 12 and 17".
The Washington Post
A UN refugee official working in Kosovo has been charged with sexual abuse of minors in the UN-administered province, officials said.
Rashidoon Khan, a Pakistani, was charged by an international prosecutor with two counts of sexual abuse of minors under the age of 16 and two counts of human trafficking, said Neeraj Singh a UN spokesman.
Khan, who was working for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Kosovo, was arrested earlier this year. His alleged crimes were committed between September and December last year, Singh said. The exact nature of the offences was not disclosed.
A juvenile was charged with human trafficking along with Khan, Singh added.
Kosovo has been run by the United Nations since 1999.
UN told it ignored years of abuse by peacekeepers
By Evelyn Leopold
UNITED NATIONS, May 31 (Reuters) - The U.N. Security Council on Tuesday condemned for the first time sexual abuse among peacekeepers after being told U.N. members ignored such exploitation for decades, fearing exposure of their own soldiers' wrongdoing.
The United Nations has accused peacekeepers and civilian staff in the Democratic Republic of Congo of rape, pedophilia, and enticing hungry children with food or money in exchange for sex. Sexual abuse on a smaller scale was discovered in other missions.
A U.S.-drafted statement read at a formal meeting urged all nations to adopt recent proposals by a U.N. inquiry to end and prevent sexual abuse. But it says the countries contributing troops have primary responsibility for the conduct of their soldiers.
"The Security Council condemns in the strongest terms, all acts of sexual abuse and exploitation committed by U.N. peacekeeping personnel, the council's statement said. "The distinguished and honorable record of accomplishment in U.N. peacekeeping is being tarnished by the acts of a few individuals."
Jordan's U.N. ambassador, Prince Zeid Ra'ad Zeid al-Hussein, who investigated the abuse and made extensive recommendations in March, told the council that embarrassment and pride prevented the exposure of abuse in past years.
"We, the member states, have refrained, from opening up this subject to public discourse over the last 60 years (because) sentiments of pride, mixed in with a deep sense of embarrassment, have often produced in us only outright denials," Zeid told the council.
"And yet almost all countries that have participated in U.N. peacekeeping operations have, at one stage or another, had some reason to feel deeply ashamed over the activities of some of their peacekeepers," Zeid said.
Since December 2004, 117 soldiers, 32 civilians and three U.N. police have been investigated. Five U.N. staff have been dismissed, nine more are undergoing a disciplinary process and four have been cleared, Jean-Marie Guehenno, the U.N. undersecretary-general for peacekeeping, told the council.
In addition, 77 military and two policemen had been sent home, including six military commanders, he said. The United Nations has 17 peacekeeping missions with 66,500 personnel at a cost of more than $4 billion annually.
Guehenno said the problem of exploitation and abuse was likely "to look worse before it looks better" because victims were now more likely to come forward.
He said areas frequented by prostitutes had been declared off-limits to missions in the Ivory Coast, Liberia, Ethiopia, Kosovo and East Timor as well as the Congo. But only in Congo are soldiers forbidden to fraternize with the local population.
Zeid estimated it would take two years to put most of his recommendations in place and a legal team was studying "complex issues" of immunities for U.N. staff and what do do when "they commit "frightful offenses, such as murder."
Among other recommendations, Zeid has proposed conducting trials in the country where the abuse took place so victims could testify. He said soldiers' pay should be docked and a fund set up for any women they impregnated.
The council's statement, responsible for peacekeeping mandates, asks Secretary-General Kofi Annan to include in his reports a summary of the "preventable measures taken to implement a zero-tolerance policy."
It also asks him to report the outcome of "actions taken against personnel found culpable for sexual exploitation and abuse."
Sydney Morning Herald
UN peacekeepers accused of raping children
Mark Coultan Herald Correspondent in New York
UNITED NATIONS peacekeepers in Sudan are raping children as young as 12, a British newspaper has claimed.
The Daily Telegraph said it had gathered accounts of 20 cases of sexual abuse by UN personnel in southern Sudan. Hundreds of children could have been abused, it said.
About 10,000 peacekeepers have been monitoring a ceasefire in the country for two years after a 21-year civil war. "The first indications of sexual exploitation emerged within months of the UN force's arrival and The Daily Telegraph has seen a draft of an internal report compiled by the UN children's agency, UNICEF, in July 2005 detailing the problem," the paper reported on its website.
The allegations have surfaced as the new UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, acknowledged on his first day in office that he faced daunting challenges in many crises worldwide, and put Sudan at the top of his list of priorities.
Mr Ban said he would today meet today the UN special envoy for Sudan, Jan Eliasson, before attending an African Union summit later this month, where he is expected to meet the Sudanese President, Omar al-Bashir.
The UN's Assistant Secretary-General for peacekeeping, Jane Holl Lute, told Associated Press that the allegations in the Telegraph would be investigated and action taken if necessary.
"There could be truth," Ms Holl Lute said. "These environments are ones in which it is difficult to ascertain the truth. I do not believe these are new allegations. Nevertheless, we will treat them as seriously as we treat all other allegations." However, the UN's ability to punish offenders is limited to its own staff and the extent of local laws. Military peacekeepers are disciplined by their own countries.
Non-governmental organisations and rights groups in the region had gathered testimony of abuse, the Telegraph claimed, although it did not say what they had done with this information.
There were no medical reports confirming that the children had been abused, it said, probably because of a lack of medical services and the fear of the children involved.
The Telegraph claimed a number of complaints had been made about the behaviour of UN personnel stationed in Juba, a major town in southern Sudan, but those accused had not been tracked down nor had there been any attempt by the UN or local officials to interview those making the accusations.
The paper said it understood that the Sudanese Government had also been gathering evidence of sexual abuse, including video footage of Bangladeshi UN workers having sex with three young girls. The Sudanese Government has resisted UN attempts to send peacekeepers to Darfur, in western Sudan, which is in the midst of a humanitarian crisis due to fighting between rebels and the Government-backed Janjaweed militia.
A report in May by the then UN secretary-general, Kofi Annan, said three sexual abuse complaints had been made in 2005 against the UN force in Sudan. The report did not say if the complaints had been found to be true. This compared with more than 200 similar allegations made against the UN operation in the Congo. That report proposed a staff of 10 for a "conduct and discipline" team for the UN mission in southern Sudan, the second-largest such unit in the UN after the Congo.
After scandals and years of widespread allegations of sexual abuse by UN peacekeepers, the UN commissioned a major report by Prince Zeid of Jordan. Sexual contact between UN staff and the local population is now banned.
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