The United Nations (UN) appears completely clueless on how to proceed about multiple instances of child sex and juvenile molestation cases that happened a year ago. Despite being chronicled by its own staff, the U.N. doesn’t appear inclined to bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice.
For a year now, U.N.’s senior human rights officials were aware of the allegations of child abuse committed by French soldiers in Central African Republic. But there appears to be complete inactivity on the organization’s behalf. Even as the French authorities are struggling to piece together the various pieces of the puzzle, there appears to be little or no help coming from the U.N.
In a signed statement, the deputy high commissioner for human rights, Flavia Pansieri, clarified that she did not pursue the allegations of child abuse because she was bogged down by other issues, including budget cuts, from last fall until early March,
“I regret to say that in the context of those very hectic days, I failed to follow up on the CAR situation. Both the HC and I knew that on CAR there was an ongoing process initiated by the French authorities to bring perpetrators to justice. I take full responsibility for not having given the matter the necessary attention.”
The Paris prosecutor’s office has squarely blamed the U.N. and its “hierarchy” for dragging its feet and taking more than six months to respond with answers to their queries. After a delay that has set back the investigation considerably, U.N. finally reverted with the answers late last month. Incidentally, the U.N. chose to answer on the same day the Guardian newspaper first made the French and U.N. inquiries public.
The U.N.’s commitment to bring the child abusers to justice or the lack thereof is quite apparent from the fact that there haven’t been any arrests so far. Moreover, there’s no clarity about the whereabouts or exact identities of the soldiers. If that’s not appalling enough, the U.N. seems completely at a loss when asked when the abuses stopped or how long it continued to investigate.
It is quite apparent that the U.N. soldiers abused the helpless children most often in lieu of food. These boys, most of them below the age of 12, had no idea about the crimes being committed.
This incident starkly exposes the weakness of a global organization which considers human rights as one of its three main pillars. Shockingly, the U.N. doesn’t seem to have strong guidelines on how to handle allegations of sexual abuse and doesn’t have accountability for the poor manner of handling such cases.
[Image Credit | Pacome Pabandji / Getty Images]