Humanitarian aid workers and United Nation peacekeepers are sexually abusing small children in several war-ravaged and food-poor countries, a leading European charity has said.
Children like this 15-year-old girl have suffered abuse at the hands of some UN soldiers and aid workers.
Children as young as 6 have been forced to have sex with aid workers and peacekeepers in return for food and money, Save the Children UK said in a report released Tuesday.
After interviewing hundreds of children, the charity said it found instances of rape, child prostitution, pornography, indecent sexual assault and trafficking of children for sex.
"It is hard to imagine a more grotesque abuse of authority or flagrant violation of children's rights," said Jasmine Whitbread, chief executive of Save the Children UK. Watch a report on the abuse »
In the report, "No One To Turn To" a 15-year-old girl from Haiti told researchers: "My friends and I were walking by the National Palace one evening when we encountered a couple of humanitarian men. The men called us over and showed us their penises.
"They offered us 100 Haitian gourdes ($2.80) and some chocolate if we would suck them. I said, 'No,' but some of the girls did it and got the money."
Save the Children says that almost as shocking as the abuse itself is the "chronic under-reporting" of the abuses. It believes that thousands more children around the world could be suffering in silence.
The full report here
How is it possible that these things are taking place even sporadically, never mind in these proportions?
"Civilization is not self-supporting. It is artificial. If you are not prepared to concern yourself with the upholding of civilization -- you are done." (Ortega y Gasset)
Tuesday, May 27, 2008