06 November 2009

UN Peacekeepers and Sex Crimes...


It is too bad that national authorities have the prime responsibility for punishing their nationals who commit sex crimes whilst on active duty with the United Nations (UN). Too bad, because most national authorities fail to appreciate the seriousness of the offenses, quite often perpetrated against children, or there is just no desire to prosecute at the national level.

Nevertheless, at least 50 peacekeepers have been punished by their respective national authorities for sex crimes committed whilst in the service of the UN. The punishments have been somewhat on the light side with most seeing a reduction in rank and the most serious punishment being a stint of eight months in jail.

The UN released the data after repeated requests to do so. However, the UN did not publicize the identities or the nations of the perpetrators of these outrages against human dignity.

Unfortunately for the UN, the UN can investigate the alleged crimes and forward relevant data and information to the relevant national authority. However, it is the national authority that makes the determination to prosecute or not. The data shows that although prosecutions for sex crimes is increasing, there are still vast numbers of allegations that go untried.

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