United Nations peacekeepers deployed to Haiti fathered hundreds of children then abandoned their young mothers to lives of grinding poverty, a report claims.
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. Researchers from the University of Birmingham and Ontario University spoke to 2,500 people in Haiti, asking them about their experience of the UN’s Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (Minustah).
More than 10 percent, 265 people, described stories which featured children fathered by peacekeeping agents who left the country, never to return. A common theme researchers found in the stories they were told was transactional sex, with peacekeepers paying young women a pittance for sex and leaving after a baby was fathered.
Minustah ran from 2004 until 2017. It was originally implemented to deal with political instability and organised crime but its mandate spread after the 2010 earthquake and the 2016 hurricane.
As reported by investigators, in 2017 the then U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley urged all countries that send troops to U.N. peacekeeping mission to hold soldiers accountable for sexual abuse and exploitation, an appeal that came after she cited an investigation into a child sex ring in Haiti involving Sri Lankan peacekeepers, it was also discovered that a handful of the cases involving pregnancy came from rape.
In that instance, 134 Sri Lankan peacekeepers were charged with creating a sex ring that victimized children as young as 12. Hundreds of additional allegations were uncovered in Haiti involving peacekeepers from several different countries. Very few of them were punished for their actions. Investigations continue…