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Resources updated Friday, September 22, 2017

September 22, 2017

A UN compound in the Congo Ituri province capital Bunia

"She had been orphaned by a brutal conflict, but the 14-year-old Congolese girl found refuge in a camp protected by United Nations peacekeepers.

The camp should have been safe the day she was raped. A delegation from the U.N. was paying a visit, and her grandmother had left her in charge of her siblings. That was the day, the girl says, that a Pakistani peacekeeper slipped inside their home and assaulted her in front of the other children.

But that was not the end of her story. Even though she reported the rape, the girl never got any help from the U.N. She did become pregnant, however, and had a baby...

The raped teenager's experience is grimly emblematic of the underbelly of U.N. peacekeeping, and the organization as a whole. During a yearlong investigation, the AP found that despite promising reform for more than a decade, the U.N. failed to meet many of its pledges to stop the abuse or help victims, some of whom have been lost to a sprawling bureaucracy. Cases have disappeared or been handed off to the peacekeepers' home countries -- which often do nothing with them... With rare exceptions, victims interviewed by the AP received no help. Instead, many were banished from their families for having mixed-race children - who also are shunned, becoming a second generation of victims. The AP even found a girl who was raped by two peacekeepers; she gave birth to two babies by the time she was 14.

To this day, the sexual violence by U.N. peacekeepers and personnel continues: Congo already accounts for nearly one-third of the 43 allegations made worldwide in 2017...

The AP found that victims of car accidents involving U.N. vehicles are more likely to receive compensation than victims of rape. Why? Because those injuries were inflicted during the course of the U.N. worker's 'official duties.'

Although the U.N. has substantiated at least 41 cases of paternity worldwide since 2010, it can cite only one instance in which a paternity payment was made, according to online records of allegations. The AP independently confirmed a second paternity payment to a Haitian woman earlier this year.

Justice is even more elusive because the cases get referred to the alleged perpetrators' home countries. Even after a U.N. investigation discovered a three-year child sex ring involving Sri Lankan peacekeepers in Haiti, Sri Lanka prosecuted no one, the AP's investigation revealed.

Yet at the yearly U.N. General Assembly gathering in New York, Sri Lanka this week was named to the U.N.'s 'circle of leadership' for the next reform effort..."

UN still leaving victims of UN peacekeeper abuses without justice or help Article

"The following is a joint statement from the United States, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom following a meeting on UN Human Rights Council reform, co-hosted by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders, and British Foreign Secretary Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP:

The United States, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom co-hosted a meeting on reform of the UN Human Rights Council on the margins of the UN General Assembly on September 19, 2017. The three co-host nations thank the 37 countries that joined this meeting and helped lead a productive dialogue, making clear their commitment to achieving progress on meaningful reforms to strengthen the Human Rights Council.

We agreed that reform is urgently needed to ensure that the Council's status as a respected advocate for human rights is secured, noting that the Council cannot perform this function if serial human rights violators are continuously allowed to serve on it. We must seek reforms that help advance global human rights and ensure that the UN's premier human rights body lives up to its name.

Ten years from passing the Human Rights Council resolution that set out the Council's agenda and procedures is an appropriate moment to explore ways to make the Council more effective and we call on other UN Member States to stand with us in working to achieve progress on reforms this year, both in Geneva and New York."

Joint Statement from the United States, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom on UN Human Rights Council Reform Development