Saturday, November 3, 2007

UN peacekeepers hit with more sex scandals

From BBC News:

Sri Lanka has promised to look into allegations that 108 of its UN peacekeepers in Haiti paid for sex, in some cases with underage girls.

The men are being sent home after being accused of sexual misconduct and abuse.

Officials say the law will take its course once the soldiers arrive back in Sri Lanka, but warn that little tangible evidence has been produced.

In the past, UN peacekeepers have been involved in a series of sex scandals, including this year in Ivory Coast.

As a news junkie who checks into this sort of thing on a daily basis, I'm well aware that there is a pervasive problem of abuse by UN peacekeepers towards the populations they are supposed to protect. The average person likely doesn't know about this problem, however, as it has yet to be brought into the public light in the way that the Abu Gharib abuse scandal took over the American consciousness for a significant amount of time.

Does a dumb UN peacekeeper with a digital camera need to provide a visual dimension to these scandals in order for the problem to illicit outrage among people? Or is the lack of attention to peacekeeper abuse a product of anti-Americanism that chooses to overlook the evils of the UN because it doesn't fit with the image of the peace-loving "international community" against the evil American imperialists? I certainly hope it's the former.

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