Thursday 18th of April 2019

Child Sex Abuse Scandal: France Holds Its Head in Shame

Child Sex Abuse Scandal: France Holds Its Head in Shame

A UN investigation into these serious allegations suggests last year French military personnel in Central African Republic sexually abused and exploited “hungry” children they were sent to protect. A UN worker leaked that information to the French authorities and that worker, Anders Kompass, has since been suspended!
According to the investigation, about 16 French soldiers are accused of abusing children, between eight and 15 years old. Some children were given small meals in exchange for sexual favors. UN officials have heard similar testimonies from other victims. The damning report has identified about 10 children effected, but the UN says many more have been abused.
If the accusations are proven true, the UN should ensure the strictest sanctions against the French government and those responsible for what would be an intolerable attack on the values of its peacekeeping missions.
Since this is not the first time and there have been similar incidents in other parts of Africa, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights should also recommend that testimonies of abuse be followed by an international investigation and that UN member states should pledge to prosecute their soldiers as if the crime was committed in their own country.
Peacekeeping by the UN is a way to help countries torn by conflict to create the conditions for lasting peace. Such assistance comes in many forms, including humanitarian aid, power-sharing arrangements, electoral support, strengthening the rule of law, and economic and social development. These measures should never be taken for granted.
Moreover, the UN should reinstate Kompass, the director of field operations for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, who was unlawfully suspended in April for leaking the internal report. Even a UN tribunal has ruled that the agency retaliated against the whistleblower.
Clearly the UN orchestrated a crackdown on the whistleblower - who has an unblemished employment record - to cover its own trail. The unlawful treatment of Kompass could have lasting impact on the investigation of similar human rights abuses by peacekeeping forces in other parts of the world.
The child sex abuse has indeed breached UN rules and regulations. It is a blow to the French government’s credibility too, which repeatedly defends its own shabby human rights record in any given opportunity.
Under international human rights law, both the UN and the hypocritical government of France are compelled to shed all light on the scandal. The UN must ensure the child victims of these abuses are protected and that all necessary measures are taken to ensure that “the truth be found” and the strongest penalties imposed on those found guilty.

source : abna
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