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9 Responses

  1. SparklyBunny
    SparklyBunny May 27, 2008 at 7:08 pm |

    UN doesn’t work. Never has, never will. US should get out of UN and conduct any aid missions it wants to by itself.

  2. Bitter Scribe
    Bitter Scribe May 27, 2008 at 9:09 pm |

    Oh, I think it would be a great mistake to use these rapes as an excuse to bash the UN in general. Don’t forget that these “peacekeepers” are mostly drawn from the armed forces of neighboring nations. It makes a certain amount of sense to get regional support for these missions, but often the available military personnel are undisciplined and used to abusing their power.

  3. nandita
    nandita May 27, 2008 at 9:14 pm |

    I don’t think this is about whether or not the UN works; it’s certainly not as though those being accused of indulging in child sexual abuse do (or do not) belong to any particular country.

  4. Thomas
    Thomas May 28, 2008 at 7:41 am |

    SparklyBunny, I recall that the Bosnia mission went about the same, with US contractors keeping young teen girls as prisoners to rape. There was a story on Salon maybe four years ago.

  5. Alara Rogers
    Alara Rogers May 28, 2008 at 1:20 pm |

    Has anyone ever considered sending all-female or majority-female groups of peacekeepers or aid workers into these areas on the grounds that 99% of all rapists are male?

    I mean, okay, one woman gave a 13-year-old boy a blow job, and the majority of men don’t rape, but since the rapists are overwhelmingly male, maybe having a majority female task force would keep the rapists out. I suspect that when women do abuse young children sexually in these circumstances it’s in part because it’s been so normalized by the presence of so many rapists in the group. One female child molester might not be emboldened enough to act on her desire to molest children if she’s surrounded by people who are not rapists.

    And since there is no reliable way to test for being a rapist (aside from catching them in the act) except to test if they’re male (being that if they’re male, they have a low chance of being a rapist, but if they’re female they have a basically zero chance of being a rapist — and you cannot tell rapist males apart from non-rapist males), how about sending over the people we *know* won’t rape anybody? Or at least can be 99% more certain won’t rape anybody?

  6. William
    William May 28, 2008 at 5:06 pm |

    Alara, the problem with that reasoning (aside from the rather horrific implications for diversity and equality) is that most peacekeepers are military and a great many countries don’t deploy women into combat situations. The reality of “peacekeepers” is that they’re soldiers who have been tasked with enforcing peace and that enforcement generally means combat. Sure, blue uniforms and UN armbands identify them as international peacekeepers, but they’re essentially mercenaries assigned to UN command. Also, by the time the international community gets off it’s collective ass and puts boots on the ground rape has often become normalized. I’m guessing that you aren’t going to find a ton of female volunteers ready to go into a warzone in which rape is common and they’ll be the minority. I’m 6’1″, 270 pounds, a pretty good shot and I would be terrified going into Darfur. Could you imagine being assigned?

  7. Empowering Southern Sudanese women « Notes from the North Country

    […] and restrictive civic, political and legal rights. Just recently Save the Children published a report citing widespread sexual abuse of children in Southern Sudan by UN and other humanitarian aid […]

  8. Daughter of the Ring of Fire » Blog Archive » Three Awful Things that Don’t Surprise Me

    […] This could not have been me. I had the good fortune to grow up in an area that did not suffer from war or its aftermath. (I nearly wrote “a peaceful country” but that cannot describe an aggressor nation no matter how the home front looks.) However, sexual abuse by those who possess any kind of power is far too common in this world. As Cara writes I’m unsurprised by the results of this study not because I think that peacekeeping forces are, as a general rule, evil rapist assholes. I’m unsurprised because they are in a position of very great power over a group of people who have been put in a vulnerable situation. Rape is a crime committed out of lust for power, not for sex. Though it’s most appalling when those in a position to protect end up doing incredible harm themselves, and though it greatly saddens and offends me, it doesn’t shock me in the least. The very reason why people in this kind of position (peacekeepers, soldiers, police officers, etc.) need the most monitoring, despite the fact that most peacekeepers are good people doing their jobs, is because theirs is a position to which rapists will naturally be drawn due to the increased opportunities and access to potential victims. […]

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