American firm in Bosnia sex trade row poised to win MoD contract
The American defence contractor forced to pay compensation to a UN police officer unfairly dismissed for reporting colleagues involved in the Bosnian sex trade is poised to be awarded its first contract by the British government, the Guardian has learned.
American firm in Bosnia sex trade row poised to win MoD contract
Jamie Wilson and Kevin Maguire
Friday November 29, 2002
The American defence contractor forced to pay compensation to a UN police officer unfairly dismissed for reporting colleagues involved in the Bosnian sex trade is poised to be awarded its first contract by the British government, the Guardian has learned.
DynCorp, which was ordered to pay the sacked UN investigator Kathryn Bolkovac 110,000 by an employment tribunal on Tuesday, is part of a consortium that is set to be awarded preferred bidder status by the Ministry of Defence to supply support services for military firing ranges.
The decision, expected to be announced in the next few weeks by Adam Ingram, the armed forces minister, was yesterday condemned by MPs and union leaders.
Former defence minister Peter Kilfoyle said: "It is simply unacceptable that a company like DynCorp, which has been so cavalier towards Ms Bolkovac, should be given a contract by the MoD."
Ms Bolkovac was dismissed after revealing that UN peacekeepers went to nightclubs where girls as young as 15 were forced to dance naked and have sex with customers, and that UN personnel and international aid workers were linked to prostitution rings in the Balkans. The employment tribunal accepted that Ms Bolkovac, an American who was employed by DynCorp and contracted to the UN, had been dismissed for whistleblowing. She said the company wanted her removed because her work was threatening its "lucrative contract" to supply officers to the mission.
The MoD firing range contract, worth more than 60m, is expected to be awarded to a consortium called LandMarc Support Services, a partnership between DynCorp and a British contractor, Interserve.
They are bidding to provide the non-military support services for the armed services' ranges, including training area and range operations, catering and estate management. It will result in more than 1,000 employees being transferred from the MoD to the private sector.
Derek Simpson, joint general secretary of the trade union Amicus, voiced concern that DynCorp should be involved in one of the government's public-private partnerships.
"The root of the trade unions' opposition to PPPs is concern that public servants will be transferred into the hands of bad employers. The government is never going to get wholehearted support to hand over public services to private companies if they have records like this."
A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence last night said no decision had been taken.
Ms Bolkovac is not the only employee who claims to have been unfairly dismissed by DynCorp over the sex trade scandal. Hours after she won her case lawyers for the company made an undisclosed financial settlement in a lawsuit in Texas with a former employee, Ben Johnston, who also exposed the affair.
Mr Johnston's case included allegations of men having sex with girls as young as 12. His claims also concerned a nightclub in Bosnia frequented by DynCorp employees, where young women were sold "hourly, daily or permanently".
Does U.S. abet Korean sex trade?
The Pentagon wants to know if military patrols stood by when troops socialized with women coerced into prostitution.
By MARY JACOBY, Times Staff Writer
St. Petersburg Times, published December 9, 2002
WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon is investigating whether U.S. military patrols in South Korea have provided security for servicemen visiting bars and clubs staffed by women forced into prostitution.
The investigation centers on South Korea's so-called camp towns, commercial districts that spring up around U.S. military bases and cater to servicemen.
Offering the promise of legitimate work, entrepreneurs there have allegedly lured women from Russia and the Philippines, taken their passports, and pressured or coerced them into prostitution.
Some observers say the servicemen play a key role in encouraging the trafficking of women to South Korea. "They are the demand and the women are the supply," said Katharine Moon, a political scientist at Wellesley College in Massachusetts and the author of a book about U.S. military members and South Korean prostitution.
Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., who requested the Pentagon inquiry, is especially concerned about the role of U.S. "courtesy patrols," an informal version of military police, who have been filmed standing watch as servicemen socialized with the women in bars.
"When American soldiers acting in their official capacity effectively condone the practice of soliciting the services of trafficked persons, the efforts of Congress, the State Department and other U.S. government agencies are severely undermined," Smith and 12 other lawmakers wrote Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in May.
A Pentagon spokeswoman confirmed that the Department of Defense Inspector General's Office is investigating the allegations. Nick Manetto, a spokesman for Smith, said the Pentagon inspectors left Thursday for a two-week fact-finding trip to South Korea.
The Inspector General's Office will eventually examine conditions around U.S. military bases worldwide, Manetto said.
For now, investigators are expected to examine conditions around Camp Casey, an Army base in Tongduchon, about 40 miles north of Seoul; Osan Air Base, 48 miles south of the demilitarized zone on the border with North Korea; and other installations.
Smith asked for the inquiry after an Ohio television station aired a hidden-camera broadcast last summer of U.S. service members at the clubs. A reporter from Fox television affiliate WJW in Cleveland had traveled to the camp town around Camp Casey, where he recorded servicemen socializing with the women in bars and military courtesy patrols standing watch nearby.
Some servicemen talked openly about the plight of the mostly Russian and Filipino women there. The passports of many have been taken away, making them virtual slaves of the bar owners.
The reporter, Tom Merriman, is a former Ohio deputy attorney general who once prosecuted cases in the Cleveland area against Korean massage parlors where women worked as prostitutes. "I always had an interest in how these women got here," Merriman said.
When he became a TV news reporter, Merriman got the chance to find out. The trail led him to the South Korean camp towns.
Many of the Korean women who ended up in Ohio had come to the United States with U.S. servicemen whom they had met in clubs. The servicemen sometimes paid as much as $3,000 to club owners for the women's freedom, Merriman said.
In the United States, the relationships or marriages would fall apart, and the women would begin working in massage parlors to survive, he said.
But when Merriman went to South Korea last summer, he found that most of the women in the camp town clubs are no longer Korean. Instead, they are Russians and Filipinos lured with promises of good jobs, then forced to work as bar hosts and prostitutes.
"In many cases, their travel documents are taken away by their labor broker, their trafficker, their bar owner, their manager, or whoever," said Moon, who last visited the camp towns in May.
Technically, the women are hosts who sell expensive glasses of juice or alcohol to the servicemen. But because most of the proceeds from the beverage sales go to the bar owner, leaving the women with little money, they "are sometimes forced, sometimes pressured, to sell sex," Moon said.
Some clubs also have back rooms for privacy with the women. The back rooms, of course, cost extra. Tongduchon's sex trade is also well advertised on the Internet.
"Short time (30 minutes) with a hot phillipina . . . will run you about 60-80 dollars," says one Web site. (The misspelling is in the original.)
In October, the Philippine government filed a lawsuit against a South Korean brothel owner for forcing 11 Filipino women into prostitution. The women had entered the country on visas authorizing them to work in the arts and show business.
"My gosh! It really appears that our job here will be prostitute," one of the women wrote after she arrived in Tongduchon, according to lawsuit documents cited by the Los Angeles Times.
According to U.S. government reports, at least 700,000 people, mostly women and children, are trafficked worldwide each year. That includes 50,000 people trafficked into the United States to work in sweatshops, brothels and farm fields.
Smith was the lead sponsor of a 2000 law to combat international human trafficking. The law increased penalties in the United States for bringing people into the country and using force or intimidation to keep them at work. The Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act also established a State Department office to monitor and combat trafficking networks worldwide.
The idea that U.S. military members could be helping trafficking networks flourish while other arms of the American government are working to stamp them out is unacceptable, Smith said.
Courtesy patrols are an informal version of military police, set up to "monitor the safety and behavior of military personnel patronizing establishments in and around the military installation," Army Secretary Thomas Whitesaid in a June letter to Smith.
White denied that the Army knowingly facilitated the trafficking of women and thanked Smith for bringing the matter to his attention.
The patrols are supposed to keep servicemen in line and prevent assaults and terrorist attacks against them. The Fox report showed uniformed courtesy patrols guarding areas around the clubs while servicemen partied with the hosts.
Military regulations prohibit servicemen from entering houses of prostitution and require them to obey the laws of host nations. Prostitution is illegal in South Korea.
Copyright 2003 St. Petersburg Times. All rights reserved
UN troops accused of 'systematic' rape in Sierra Leone
By Tim Butcher, Africa Correspondent
Rebels, government troops and United Nations peacekeepers were all guilty of raping women on a systematic scale throughout Sierra Leone's brutal civil war, a leading international human rights group reported yesterday.
The mutilation of civilians was a trademark feature of the 10-year civil war, but Human Rights Watch said sexual abuse was much more common in the unstable West African nation.
"The war in Sierra Leone became infamous for the amputation of hands and arms" Peter Takirambudde, the head of Human Rights Watch's Africa division, said. "Rape may not be visible in the same way, but it is every bit as devastating."
The 75-page report, We'll Kill You If You Cry, makes harrowing reading, with accounts of children being forced to rape grandmothers, fathers made to watch daughters being raped and other instances of serious sexual assault.
After surveying victims from all areas of Sierra Leone it concluded that sexual crimes were used to try to destroy family links, making soldiers less reluctant to take part in military operations.
It said most of the crimes were committed by rebels from the Revolutionary United Front and smaller splinter groups.
But it found evidence of sexual atrocities being committed by troops from the regional intervention force, Ecomog, and the UN peacekeeping mission.
Women were used by all sides as chattels, kidnapped from their homes often in rural areas and forced to act as sex slaves for the troops as well as domestic maids responsible for cooking and household chores.
"To date there has been no accountability for the thousands of crimes of sexual violence or other appalling human rights abuses committed during the war in Sierra Leone," the report said.
A UN war crimes tribunal set up to investigate such allegations has been slow to start work and not many in Sierra Leone hold out much hope that it will bring more than a few perpetrators to justice.
In another damning assessment of the African crisis, a UN report on the fighting in the north east of the Congo has found evidence of cannibalism, torture and mutilation, with indigenous pygmies suffering badly.
U.N. adds new cases of sex abuse
Washington Times 10/14/02: John Zarocostas
The United Nations' investigating arm has cleared several U.N. workers of charges of sexual abuse against West African refugee children but has substantiated 10 new cases against aid workers, officials said.
The final report, already presented to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, is expected to be released "in the coming days, or weeks," said a senior U.N. official, who asked not to be identified.
One of the 10 new cases involved a volunteer working for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, the preeminent world refugee agency, while the other nine cases involved personnel from nongovernmental agencies.
The probe was ordered a day after the UNHCR and a major children's charity reported accusations in February of extensive sexual exploitation of refugee children in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone by local employees of more than 40 private aid organizations and U.N. agencies.
At the time, Mr. Annan and UNHCR chief Ruud Lubbers said they were shocked and distressed by the reports. Mr. Annan called for a full investigation and stressed the policy of zero tolerance for such acts.
While no complaint against any U.N. staff member was substantiated in the investigation by the U.N. Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), the OIOS probe has been criticized by senior U.N. and Western diplomats as too limited in scope.
"They narrowed down [the terms] of the investigation," said a senior U.N. official, who spoke on the condition he not be identified.
Mary Kallamur of the Geneva-based Humanitarian Accountability Project said her main concern was that the terms of reference of the OIOS investigation "have not been made public."
Senior U.N. and Western diplomats familiar with the OIOS investigation said staff of the World Food Program and U.N. peacekeepers in West Africa, or UNAMSIL, were not part of the investigation. Both agencies had been listed in the original joint report by UNHCR and Save the Children UK, which has not been fully released.
That report was compiled by a three-member team, which included a well-regarded Zambian expert on trauma and sexual violence with vast experience in conflict zones.
The OIOS team sought comments from the World Food program and UNAMSIL, as well as other agencies, and included them in the report.
In the meantime, pressure has been renewed on UNHCR and the global humanitarian community to improve their track record in shielding refugee children from sexual exploitation.
"UNHCR and all humanitarian organizations must take adequate measures to prevent all sexual exploitation by their personnel everywhere and hold all perpetrators of such abuses duly accountable. We expect UNHCR to be adamant in its practice of management accountability," Kristin Ormen Johnsen, Norway's state secretary for development, told a UNHCR executive session.
Similarly Johan Molander, Sweden's ambassador and chairman of the UNHCR executive committee, said sexual exploitation of refugee children and women by humanitarian workers "is by no means a West Africa problem alone."
Mr. Molander said only by recognizing that the problem is global can the goal of zero tolerance be achieved.
Mr. Lubbers told delegates in Geneva last week that his agency has taken a series of remedial steps to strengthen the protection of refugee women and children against abuse.
Mr. Lubbers, a former prime minister of the Netherlands, also downplayed the findings of the February report of widespread exploitation, which his agency commissioned.
He acknowledged that the issue of sexual exploitation was "very real" but said the original report contained many generalizations that "have unfairly tarnished the reputation and credibility of our staff."
Peacekeeper jailed for porn films
DECLAN WALSH NICOLA BYRNE IN DUBLIN
AN IRISH soldier serving as a United Nations peacekeeper in Eritrea has been caught making pornographic videos of local women and is now serving a jail sentence in Ireland, it was revealed last night.
The UN has launched an investigation into the scandal which has again plunged the organisation’s peacekeeping duties into controversy.
In the wake of the highly damaging revelation, the Eritrean government has condemned the activities of the Irish defence force and questioned its continued presence in the war-scarred state in the Horn of Africa.
Yesterday a government spokesman said: "These people call themselves peacekeepers, when in fact all they want is a long holiday and a chance to fool around with our women. They did not respect our country, our culture or our people."
The soldier in question returned to Ireland last month and yesterday the Irish army said he would be dismissed.
An army spokesman said: "As soon as his commanding officer became aware of his behaviour he was charged with conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline."
The private has already been sentenced to 16 days’ detention by an army court, and is still serving the sentence.
The statement added: "He is likely to be dismissed from the force."
His videos were filmed last March. Their main ‘star’, a 22-year-old Eritrean woman believed to be a prostitute, is in custody facing obscenity charges in her home country.
The tapes are understood to have been discovered when the soldier, a man in his forties and a native of the west of Ireland, showed them to friends.
The woman is believed to have worked at a brothel which opened outside the Irish ‘green’ camp in the Eritrean capital, Asmara, shortly after the Irish peacekeepers’ arrival last December.
She befriended the soldier at the centre of the scandal and became his girlfriend, she told police. The woman named the man and said he was a captain, although the Irish army has denied that this is the man’s rank.
In an interview from her prison cell, she said the soldier had told her he was making the video for "remembrance" and would marry her and bring her to Ireland, where he said he owned a hotel.
"He was telling me what to do in the films in many different ways," said the woman.
After filming, the soldier would take the woman and her friends swimming at the Intercontinental Hotel, which she considered a "great treat" as it is normally the preserve of foreigners.
According to Eritrean authorities, the videos consisted of "disgusting sexual acts".
Several other women who are alleged to be prostitutes in the capital have also been arrested since the scandal emerged.
Some hotels and night clubs which were popular with peacekeepers, foreigners and prostitutes have also been closed.
The multinational peacekeeping force in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) was established two years ago after a ceasefire in the two-year border war between the two countries.
This is the Irish army’s first time in Africa since the 1960s when it served in the Congo. The defence forces pride themselves on their peacekeeping role, which has included stints in the Lebanon and Cyprus.
In a statement, UNMEE said it considered the allegations concerning the videos very serious, and that it was conducting an investigation.
"The mission has zero tolerance towards such acts, and will do its utmost to quickly and thoroughly establish the facts," it said.
"The sexual or psychological exploitation of locals by UN staff or their representatives, will never be tolerated."
However, a report commissioned by the UN itself noted this year that prostitution has soared since peace was declared in Eritrea and the UN peacekeepers arrived there.
Over the past two years, Italian, Danish and Slovak peacekeepers have all been expelled in separate incidents for having sex with minors.
Irish troops were issued with orders to respect local sensitivities and to abide by a strict code of conduct.
A senior source within the UN in Asmara said the Irish soldier’s behaviour had caused deep embarrassment. It is the latest in a catalogue of scandals over the years, which have seen UN peacekeepers involved in murder and rape.
The UN source said: "People have been told not to talk about it or discuss it. It’s a very sensitive issue. But of course everybody is talking about it."
A third of adults in Eritrea are HIV positive and on their arrival in Africa, the UN forces are shown explicit videos about the effects of HIV and Aids.
Peacekeepers are issued with male and female condoms and warned off visiting the numerous brothels which have mushroomed in the capital.
However, with little for the troops to do in the city, the outgoing commander of the Irish camp, Lieutenant Commandant David Prendergast admitted that boredom was one of the biggest problems facing his unit.
But he rejected the claim by the Eritrean government that the Irish base was a holiday camp.
"It is not that by any means," he said. "It is a major task in the management of personnel and it is difficult for the soldiers because they are away from home."
Built in the art deco style by Italian colonists in the 1930s, Asmara looks more like a suburb of a European town than an African city.
Although it is poor and struggling to recover from the war, the clean streets are paved with smooth tarmac, and there is little crime. The story of the videos has consequently made front page news.
Last week’s edition of the Eritrean Profile newspaper, published by the government’s ministry of information, also points the finger at other peacekeepers in the city and says it has evidence that they are engaged in activities similar to those of the Irish soldier currently in jail.
With friends like these…
UNITED Nations peacekeeping troops have been involved in a catalogue of crimes and scandals across the globe.
During the UN peacekeeping mission to Somalia, it was claimed Canadian, Belgian and Italian soldiers were involved in torture and murder.
An inquiry by the Canadian government of a young Somali man in 1993, found that he had been murdered by its troops and that a senior officer had lied in an attempt to cover up the atrocity. Two soldiers were jailed.
In Belgium, newspapers published photographs of two soldiers holding a Somali boy over a fire. Three paratroopers were prosecuted, but were acquitted by a military tribunal.
An Italian magazine published photographs showing soldiers from the country’s elite paratroop regiment apparently torturing a naked Somali with electrodes and sexually abusing a Somali woman. Two generals who had commanded the Italian force in Somalia resigned.
In January 2000 the United Nations were sued for the first time in its history for alleged complicity in the crime of genocide which drove hundreds of thousands Rwandan Tutsis from their homes.
Two Rwandan women accused the UN, which was meant to be defending their families, of handing them over to their killers or running away.
The families of these women were slaughtered during the 1994 genocide in which 800,000, mostly Tutsi people, were slaughtered by Hutus.
In Bosnia, more than 20 peacekeepers were ejected from the mission for theft and corruption. Nearly four dozen others were sent home after allegedly abusing mental patients at a hospital. Canadian peacekeepers were accused of rape, beatings and sexual abuse of a teenage handicapped girl.
UN struggles to explain away presence of weapons inspector with S&M fetish
London independent 11/29/02: Kim Sengupta
The United Nations inspection mission in Iraq has been fully prepared for controversy over chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. Instead, the first crisis it faces concerns sado-masochism, pansexuality and leather fetishes. Senior officials were trying to explain yesterday how such a crucial mission came to include an American former Secret Service officer who has no specialised degree in any of the relevant sciences, but considerable expertise in unusual sexual practices.
Harvey John "Jack" McGeorge was nominated for the mission by the United States government. The revelation of his personal details has also led to the disclosure that no background checks have been made on any of the monitors.
Mr McGeorge, who once served in the US Marines, is waiting in New York to join the Unmovic (UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission) in Baghdad.
He runs a business offering seminars on "weaponisation of chemical and biological agents" at $595 (�380) a session, and advertises his services as a "certified United Nations inspector". An internet search has also revealed that Mr McGeorge offers training seminars of a different kind involving "various acts conducted with knives and ropes". This relates to his role as co-founder of Black Rose, a "pansexual S&M group" based in Washington, and also as a founder of Leather Leadership Conference IN, which "produces training sessions for current and potential leaders of the sadomasochistic/ leather/fetish community". Mr McGeorge said a State Department official invited him to apply for a job with the UN team, and neither the Americans nor the United Nations asked about his S&M background. He was interviewed by Hans Blix, the chief inspector, and trained with Unmovic in February 2001.
He told The Washington Post: "I have been very upfront with people in the past about what I do, and it has never prevented me from getting a job or doing a service. I am who I am. I am not ashamed of who I am � not one bit." He added that he was now considering resigning his UN post.
Iraqi officials, who have always claimed that American members of the team may not be what they seem, were still digesting the news.
A Foreign Ministry official said: "It is very disturbing that the Americans have put forward someone like this. Apart from his strange sexual life, he does not have the academic qualification for these complex issues. And he is also a former member of their Secret Service. How many other of these types are they getting into the UN mission?"
A UN official said in Baghdad: "It is very difficult. We are hoping the man will now resign, and we can draw a veil over this." Ewen Buchanan, an Unmovic spokesman, said: "As the UN, with people applying from many countries, we do not have the capacity to carry out background checks. I believe Mr McGeorge is technically very competent. He knows his subject, which is weapons."
A State Department official confirmed that Mr McGeorge was recommended to Unmovic, and that no background checks were made.
The Bush administration has been accused of undermining the Iraq mission, and US officials have claimed that Mr Blix had chosen an inexperienced team, leaving out inspectors with previous experience of working in Iraq who were deemed to be too aggressive in pursuing their task. There have also been complaints from Washington that not enough American and British personnel were chosen for the teams.
.N. Finally Forced to Probe Its Pedophilia Scandal
NewsMax.com Wires and NewsMax.com
Tuesday, May 7, 2002
GENEVA, Switzerland � The United Nations' massive pedophilia scandal has not received 1 percent of the media attention given to the Catholic Church's homosexual priest scandal. Finally some attention is being paid, now that the U.N.'s cover is blown.
As world leaders converge on New York for the controversial conference on children this week, U.N. investigators and relief agencies say they are finally trying to stop recurrence of sexual abuse against West African refugee children by U.N. "peacekeepers" and aid workers.
The scale of allegations, partly revealed Feb. 26, sent shock waves through the "international aid community" and led to calls from U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and governments for an urgent investigation in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.
Calls were raised for measures to ensure that refugee children were protected worldwide from abuse.
About a half-dozen investigators from the U.N. Office of Internal Oversight Services in New York, plus investigators from the office of the inspector-general of the U.N. High Commissioner of Refugees, were still examining the allegations, senior U.N. officials told United Press International.
The U.N. investigating team also includes a medical doctor, the same sources said.
It was unclear how long the investigation will last. "We're all waiting for the results of the inquiry to take action," said an official from one of the agencies under investigation.
After formal moves by UNHCR last December, a preliminary OIOS investigation was initiated in January, but it only moved into full gear in March, said a U.N. official.
Not Much Progress
The U.N.'s investigating arm, however, also came under heavy criticism by senior Western diplomats for the slow pace of its work on the ground in the three countries. The limited number of investigators at the oversight office, less than 20, partly explains the grinding pace of the inquiry.
"We can barely cope with the cases that are being referred to us," Dileep Nair, U.N. undersecretary general and chief of OIOS, told UPI.
In 2001, the burdened OIOS had more than 400 cases referred to it ranging from petty to serious alleged breaches linked to U.N. matters.
Some officials close to the investigation reckon a final report could be ready by the end of the month.
Parallel investigations in the field have also been initiated by many of the nearly 40 non-governmental organizations such as Save the Children-UK and Doctors Without Borders.
Brendan Paddy, a spokesman for Save the Children-UK, told UPI on Sunday that the agency has conducted its own investigation and sacked one staff member in Guinea and stopped two community volunteers from participating in its aid work.
Similarly, a spokesman for Doctors Without Borders, Rafael Vilasanjuan, told UPI the group has also been conducting an investigation into the allegations but so far "we have not found any concrete evidence.
"If there is any evidence, we will take all the measures." He said Doctors Without Borders had "no tolerance" for such behavior.
In the meantime, U.N. agencies and many of the NGOs were busy at work putting in place new checks and balances in the field to prevent sexual abuse of refugee children.
Some of the measures have included beefing up staff by more than 35 in areas such as UNHCR emergency, protection and community services in the three countries, including 12 solely to respond to sexual exploitation.
Rotation of staff to different camps has also been expanded.
Moreover, the U.N. World Food Program has increased the number of female monitors and held meetings with all staff and NGOs to highlight the agency's "zero tolerance" policy over sexual abuse, said WFP spokeswoman Christiane Berthiaume.
Reactionary U.N. Knew of Atrocities
However, the United Nations has not always been that proactive on this issue.
A full copy of the joint study sponsored by the UNHCR and SC-UK, obtained by UPI, notes that during debriefing sessions in all three countries:
"UNHCR staff, government representatives and the agency staff, including senior managers, acknowledged that they knew such practices happened. Regrettably, even in situations where such information had been brought to their attention in the past, no action had been taken to monitor or redress the situation."
The number of allegations documented "is a critical indicator of the scale of this problem," it said.
U.N. Workers Among 'Worst Sexual Exploiters of Children'
"Agency workers from the international and local NGOs as well as U.N. agencies were ranked as among the worst sex exploiters of children, often using the very humanitarian aid and services intended to benefit the refugee population as a tool of exploitation."
The assessment team listed sexual allegations and called for further investigation against workers from 42 agencies and 67 individuals.
"The details of these allegations were submitted to UNHCR in confidential lists as the mission was ongoing," the report said.
The U.N. agencies identified included UNHCR and WFP and the international "peacekeepers" from nine countries stationed in Sierra Leone.
United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) battalions whose "peacekeepers" are alleged to be involved in sexual exploitation include those from Britain, Kenya, Ghana, Guinea, India, Nigeria (Ecomog force before 2000), Pakistan, Bangladesh and Zambia.
In addition, the assessment mission report identified staff from 10 NGOs in Liberia, 10 NGOs in Sierra Leone and 16 NGOs in Guinea for alleged sexual abuse.
Besides Doctors Without Borders and Save the Children-UK, other NGOs listed for alleged abuses by their mainly locally employed staff included, among others:
The Red Cross in Trouble Yet Again
The American Refugee Committee; the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies/Guinean Red Cross; Lutheran World Service/World Federation; Norwegian Refuge Council; Council of Churches, Sierra Leone; Germany's BMZ; and Medical Relief International (MERLIN); and Family Empowerment Program.
In July 2001, children accounted for about 45 percent of the world's refugees and others of concern assisted by the U.N. refugee agency. The percentage of children, the report said, was even higher in Guinea and Liberia: at 63 percent in Guinea or 426,140; and 50 percent in Liberia, or 33,766.
The full 84-page report, written in January after a six-week mission to the three countries, has not yet been published.
BBC Exposes the Cover-up
It was only after the British Broadcasting Corp. revealed the contents of the assessment mission that UNHCR and Save the Children group revealed some of report's findings and recommendations.
The initial refusal by UNHCR and Save the Children-UK to furnish to other NGOs, confidentially, the names of the alleged 67 individuals created tensions among the normally close-knit "humanitarian community." The UNHCR cited legal concerns, fears about the safety of child victims still living in camps, and the limitations of anecdotal information, for its stance.
After a number of heated closed-door meetings, however, the NGOs were furnished with the confidential information they had been seeking in March.
But humanitarian officials familiar with the brief said many sex abuse victims are afraid to take part in a formal investigation and don't come forward for fear of vengeance and recrimination.
The report notes that most "incidents of sexual violence go unreported," and concludes that the incidence of the problem may be much higher than the numbers cited in the report suggest.
Indeed, sources close to the investigation said early indications were that they had difficulties to get firsthand accounts from victims.
Observations in the report highlight the problems victims face.
"In order for a refugee to make a report, they would have to go through the same persons who themselves are perpetrators of sexual exploitation. Most staff appear to connive to hide the actions of other staff."
Sickening Double Standard
So let's see: Senior U.N. officials knew of the widespread pedophilia. Not only did they not take action against the perpetrators, they covered up the atrocities.
And even after the scandal comes to light, most media give this major news event little or no coverage.
Imagine the screaming headlines and worldwide outrage if the Catholic Church or any other church allowed sexual abuse of children on such a massive scale. Could the media establishment's pro-U.N., anti-religious bias have anything to do with the stunning discrepancy?
Copyright 2002 by United Press International.
All rights reserved.
Woman sacked for revealing UN links with sex trade
By Daniel McGrory
How a tribunal vindicated an investigator who blew whistle on workers in Bosnia
Times of London
August 07, 2002
A DAMNING dossier sent by Kathryn Bolkovac to her employers, detailing UN workers� involvement in the sex trade in Bosnia, cost the American her job with the international police force.
She was sacked after disclosing that UN peacekeepers went to nightclubs where girls as young as 15 were forced to dance naked and have sex with customers, and that UN personnel and international aid workers were linked to prostitution rings in the Balkans.
After a two-year battle, an employment tribunal ruled yesterday that Ms Bolkovac was unfairly dismissed by DynCorp, an American company whose branch in Salisbury, Wiltshire, dealt with the contracts of the American officers working for the international police force in Bosnia. There will be a further hearing at Southampton to decide the amount of compensation DynCorp must pay Ms Bolkovac.
During her time in Bosnia as an investigator, Ms Bolkovac, 41, uncovered evidence of girls who refused to have sex being beaten and raped in bars by their pimps while peacekeepers stood and watched. She discovered that one UN policeman who was supposed to be investigating the sex trade paid �700 to a bar owner for an underage girl who he kept captive in his apartment to use in his own prostitution racket.
She detailed her findings in a series of explicit e-mails to DynCorp, but after first being demoted and transferred from the investigation she was sacked for allegedly falsifying her timekeeping records.
Charles Twiss, the tribunal chairman, said: �We have considered DynCorp�s explanation of why they dismissed her and find it completely unbelievable. There is no doubt whatever that the reason for her dismissal was that she made a protected disclosure and was unfairly dismissed.�
There are powerful voices in support of her claims, including that of Madeleine Rees, the head of the UN Human Rights Commission office in Sarajevo, who is in no doubt that trafficking in women started with the arrival of the international peacekeepers in 1992.
As well as 21,000 Nato peacekeepers and aid workers, there were police from 40 countries trying to keep Bosnia�s warring factions apart.
�When the civil war ended in 1992 there were curfews and ordinary people didn�t have cars or money,� Ms Rees said. �Only the international community would have been able to get to the flats and bars being made available with foreign women.� She estimates that there are more than 900 premises in Bosnia where sex can be bought.
Richard Monk, a former senior British policeman who ran the UN police operation in Bosnia until 1999, said: �There were truly dreadful things going on by UN police officers from a number of countries. I found it incredible that I had to set up an internal affairs department to investigate complaints that officers were having sex with minors and prostitutes.
�The British officers were on the whole extremely good and very professional, setting a great example. But there were policemen from other countries who should not have been in uniform.�
The tribunal was told that a senior UN official, Dennis Laducer, was caught in one of the most notorious brothels. Mr Laducer, Deputy Commissioner of the International Police Task Force, was investigated by UN human rights officers and is no longer with the mission.
The ruling yesterday will cause further embarrassment to the UN over the behaviour of its peacekeepers. In March investigators disclosed that British aid workers and the UN contingent in Sierra Leone were demanding sex from teenage refugees in exchange for food and money. The UN�s refugee agency, which carried out the inquiry, told of �a shameful catalogue of sexual abuse�.
Ms Bolkovac, a mother of three who now lives in The Netherlands, said that she was elated by the tribunal�s ruling. �Now I hope to gain more international exposure for this problem,� she said.
She was posted to Sarajevo in 1999 to investigate the traffic in young women from Eastern Europe. �When I started collecting evidence from the victims of sex-trafficking, it was clear that a number of UN officers were involved from several countries, including quite a few from Britain,� she said. �I was shocked, appalled and disgusted. They were supposed to be over there to help, but they were committing crimes themselves. But when I told the supervisors they didn�t want to know�. Two Britons, a UN peacekeeper and a policeman, have been sent home after allegations involving the sex trade. Both are being investigated.
Ms Bolkovac said that she witnessed frightened young women given exotic dance costumes by club owners, who told them they had to perform sex acts on customers, including UN personnel, to pay for the outfits.
�The women who refused were locked in rooms and food and outside contact was withheld for days or weeks. After this time they were told to dance naked on table tops and sit with clients, recommending the person buy a bottle of champagne for DM200, which includes a room and �escort�.
�If the women still refuse to perform sex acts with the customers, they are beaten and raped in the rooms by the bar owners and their associates. They are told if they go to the police they will be arrested for prostitution and being an illegal immigrant.�
Within days of reporting her findings in October 2000 she was demoted and six months later was sacked. She claimed that DynCorp wanted her removed because her work was threatening its �lucrative contract� to supply officers to the UN mission. DynCorp said that she was dismissed for gross misconduct. During the hearing DynCorp admitted that it had dismissed three officers for using prostitutes. Since 1998, eight DynCorp employees have been sent home from Bosnia; none has been prosecuted.
Forensic experts in Bosnia said yesterday that they had recovered the remains of around 200 Muslims from a mass grave in a garden, bringing to about 6,000 the number of exhumed victims of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre.
Child sex book given out at U.N. summit
Washington Times 05/10/02: George Archibald
A UNICEF-funded book being passed out at the United Nations Child Summit encourages children to engage in sexual activities with other minors and with homosexuals and animals.
As the delegations to the summit remain deadlocked on abortion, international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that support the U.S. delegation's anti-abortion stance circulated copies of pages from a UNICEF-funded book given to delegates from Latin America that promotes sexual activity and abortion among teens in their countries.
"Reproductive health includes the following components: Counseling on sexuality, pregnancy, methods of contraception, abortion, infertility, infections and diseases," says the Spanish-language book, whose title translates to "Theoretic Elements for Working with Mothers and Pregnant Teens."
An accompanying workshop book produced by the U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF) tells Latin American mothers and teens: "Situations in which you can obtain sexual pleasure: 1. Masturbation. 2. Sexual relations with a partner � whether heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual. 3. A sexual response that is directed toward inanimate objects, animals, minors, non-consenting persons."
The book, which was distributed by the Mexican government with U.N. funding, suggests lesbian sex as an acceptable alternative for girls.
"Sexual relations with a partner: Here we should insist there is no ideal or perfect relations between two or several people," the book says. "The one that gives us the most satisfaction and that which is adopted to our way of being and the style of life we have chosen. This is why we encounter many differences among women. Some women like to have relations with men. And others with another woman."
UNICEF spokesman Alfred Ironside acknowledged U.N. funding for the book, but said it was produced by the Mexican government in 1999 and pulled from circulation "when the content was more carefully reviewed."
Mr. Ironside said he did not know how many of the books were circulated. "A very small number were produced � fewer than a thousand," he said. "It was pulled out of circulation when the content was more carefully reviewed."
"That book was a product of the Mexican government, supported by UNICEF financially as part of UNICEF's support to the Mexican government," Mr. Ironside said.
"We do everything we do in full agreement with the governments we support. We do not operate independently," he said.
He said the book was "intended as a training manual for people working with adolescent women to prevent teen pregnancy. That publication was a compilation of articles by different contributors and has a very clear disclaimer in the front that the views of the writers do not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations."
The workshop book is being passed out by anti-abortion NGOs to persuade delegates from the large Latin American bloc of countries called the Rio Group to support the U.S. proposal to remove ambiguous language from the child-summit action document, which has been used in the past by U.N. agencies to promote abortion.
Delegations to the U.N. Child Summit remained deadlocked yesterday in closed-door negotiations over abortion and other hot-button issues that have held up final agreement on a U.N. action agenda to protect the world's children.
The U.S. delegation, praised by pro-family groups for standing firm to ensure the agenda does not sanction continued U.N. promotion of abortions, was attacked by NGO critics for a second day at an afternoon briefing, NGO members at the meeting said.
Douglas Sylva, an official with the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, called the briefing "an NGO feeding frenzy," in which the United States was attacked for its position on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict; arms sales to allies; the Bush administration's support of capital punishment; and U.S. failure to ratify the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child.
"The fact that the United States is the only country besides Somalia that has not ratified [the] child's rights [convention] is shocking," said Paula Daeppen, director in Zurich for the Federation of American Women's Clubs Overseas.
"We're supposed to be a moral leader of the world and child friendly," she said.
Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee, Texas Democrat, told the meeting she applauded the administration's work to protect children from pornography, exploitation and "child soldiering." But she said she disagreed with the U.S. delegation on some issues.
"There needs to be flexibility on life," she said � an apparent reference to the administration's strong anti-abortion stance. A person close to the congresswoman, who asked to remain anonymous, said her remarks were intended to urge "more flexibility on family planning."
Abortion is not mentioned directly in the draft child-summit document, but UNICEF, which organized the 187-country special session of the General Assembly, and the U.N. Fund for Population Activities, interpret the ambiguous phrase "reproductive health services" to include abortion.
A senior Canadian negotiator told delegates in earlier preparatory meetings that the term includes abortion, prompting the Bush administration to start pushing for the alternate term "reproductive health care."
European countries, with the exception of Spain, along with Canada, Japan and New Zealand oppose the U.S. position. Muslim nations and some African countries also support the United States.
The Rio Group, whose delegations say their predominantly Catholic populations don't condone abortion, said there is no danger the term "reproductive health services" will be used to promote abortions in Latin America.