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» 06.05.2011 - Ouattara now formally Ivorian President
» 29.06.2010 - Ivorians follow Guinea vote with envy
» 18.03.2010 - Concerns over Côte d'Ivoire delayed polls
» 12.03.2010 - Côte d'Ivoire polls now 5 years delayed
» 01.03.2010 - Regional bloc hails Ivorian progress
» 26.02.2010 - New IEC chief for Côte d'Ivoire
» 24.02.2010 - Ivorians form a new government
» 17.02.2010 - Protest turns violent in Ivory Coast

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Politics | Society | Gender - Women | Human rights

Peacekeepers "abuse children"

afrol News, 27 May - A research in post-conflict zones - Côte d'Ivoire, South Sudan and Haiti - has uncovered that peacekeepers and aid workers sexually abuse minors as young as six years.

A leading UK charity, Save the Children that raised alarm on the appalling practice has dismissed three of its workers for breaching its codes. The men were sacked last year after they had sex with girls below 18 years. It has called on other aid agencies to follow-suit.

Most victims of sexual exploitation usually lack the voice to share their ordeal with their families for fear of being banished, which is why they prefer to cry in silence.

Save the Children is not at ease that most of the cases go unreported. As a result, the culprits go unpunished while leaving their victims in years of pain and trauma.

Aid workers are not sexually abusing minor girls, but boys as well, the report proved.

The UK charity officials wondered why this awful practice must be allowed to thrive, despite so many commitments being made world organisations, including the United Nations, humanitarian and aid agencies.

The report also asked all players - humanitarian and peacekeeping agencies operating in emergency situations - to be mindful of their vulnerability to the problem and resolve it.

In recent years, reported claims of sexual abuse and rape by UN peacekeepers in many parts of the post-conflict countries. And in some cases, the UN probed the claims and where necessary repatriated suspects.

Save the Children said there is need for better reporting mechanisms to deal with the "endemic failures" to respond to the reported cases of abuse.

Angered by the little support for the victims, the charity wants efforts to be strengthened to protect children worldwide.

It has challenged the international community on its promise policy of zero tolerance to child sexual abuse.

UN officials have welcomed the report and promised to study it carefully before responding.

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