Monday, May 08, 2006

Suffer the Little Children

This is disgusting:

Aid workers giving girls food for sex in Liberia: report

The aid agency Save the Children says aid workers and peacekeepers are sexually exploiting young girls in Liberia, despite pledges to stamp out such abuse.

Girls as young as eight are being forced by local and international agency workers to have sex in exchange for food, according to a report called From Camp to Community: Liberia Study on Exploitation of Children, released Monday.

"These children were engaging in sex for money for education, for food for the day, or even for something as small as a ride," said Save the Children spokeswoman Emilia Brookstein.


"There is a zero tolerance for this kind of behaviour in an organization like the World Food Programme, as indeed there is in any United Nations organization," said World Food Programme spokesman Greg Barrow.

"We have to investigate exactly who was involved, which organizations were involved, and you can rest assured that if any guilt is identified at the end of the day, action will be taken to terminate that relationship immediately and steps will be made to make sure that those people do not find themselves in these positions of power that they can abuse again."

Read the full article.

Hm, well, to me, "zero tolerance" means not only terminating relationships with abusers and ensuring they cannot return to prominence, but prosecuting them to the fullest extent of the law. They should be tried under international law first and foremost for their exploitation of children and, secondly, for the damage they've done to the integrity of the W.F.P. (to me, it looks like a case for fraud could be made against them, but I'm not a lawyer...)

This situation is simply unacceptable.


Jae said...

Sadly all too common a story. Give people power and quite a few of them will abuse it, even those doing altruistic work.

Becky said...

Natalie, where the heck are ya, girl? Hope all's well in graduate-student-land.

Derr said...

It's been a long time since I've read your blog. Still's time to get paid.

Anyways, the same thing happened in Kosovo after NATO troops moved in; prostitution became rife...CNN did a story on it once. It's sad and I have to agree with Jae, power corrupts absolutely.