The descendant of the failed “League of Nations,” which was formed in the ashes of World War I, the UN was formed in the ashes of World War II as, according to the History Channel, “a new global organization to maintain peace and avoid the abuses of war.”
And again, in theory, the UN’s core mission — to prevent global conflagration — was noble, just, and idealistic.
Probably too idealistic.
Today the organization is much larger and involved in many things other than conflict prevention and resolution, but it’s not very good at any of its missions, especially conflict prevention.
While the UN still serves as a neutral forum for nations to solve their differences through diplomacy, it’s rare that the global body actually prevents conflicts. Even in instances where UN “peacekeepers” are deployed.
But beyond that, the institution has other operational problems, such as an inability to control personnel deployed under its guise. Such was the case in weather-ravaged Haiti, which hosted scores of blue-helmet-wearing peacekeepers who wound up doing far more harm than good.
A new study claims that peacekeepers deployed to the Caribbean basket case fathered hundreds of children before abandoning them to their young mothers and condemning them to grinding poverty.
The study into the U.N.’s single longest peacekeeping mission said girls as young as 11 would trade sex for food or “a few coins” in the Caribbean country so they could survive amid political turmoil and the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake. After being sexually abused and impregnated they were “left in misery” to raise their children alone…
The London Times added further that researchers from the University of Birmingham and Ontario University talked to 2,500 Haitians to find out about their experiences with the UN’s Stabilization Mission there (Minustah).
More than 10 percent of respondents, or 265 people, described instances where UN peacekeepers fathered children and then left the country, never to come back. (Related: United Nations declares U.S. government spying on its own citizens is a crime against Human Rights.)
The Times reported that a common theme uncovered by the researchers was that such instances involved transactional sex — the UN peacekeeping troops would pay young Haitian woman a very small amount for sex, then left after a baby was fathered.
And in a handful of cases, according to the report, which was initially published in The Conversation, children were fathered due to rape.
The operation Minustah ran from 2004 until 2017 and was established originally to handle political instability and organized crime. But the mandate was expanded in the wake of a 2010 earthquake and a 2016 hurricane.
A UN peacekeeping operations spokesperson told the Times that such missions worldwide “are making steady progress and have put in place many steps to end and prevent these abuses” but that “much remains to be done.”
The Times previously exposed sexual exploitation by UN peacekeepers, which was covered up by the group Oxfam, following the earthquake.
This certainly is not the only instance of sexual abuse by UN peacekeeping troops.
In 2017, then-U.S. ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley pushed all nations that contribute forces to UN peacekeeping missions hold their troops accountable for sexual abuse and exploitation. Her appeal came on the heels of an investigation into a child sex ring in Haiti involving peacekeepers from Sri Lanka.
She warned that “countries that refuse to hold their soldiers accountable must recognize that this either stops or their troops will go home and their financial compensation will end.”
Last year, the UK-based Guardian published a report alleging, “the United Nations has allowed sexual harassment and assault to flourish in its offices around the world, with accusers ignored and perpetrators free to act with impunity.”