Tuesday, 27 May, 2008 Current Events
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Children are Sexually Abused by Peacekeepers

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Children were sexually abused and exploited by peacekeepers and aid workers who were to protect them in post-conflict areas, UK charity organization reported.

After the careful investigation in post-conflict areas in Ivory Coast, southern Sudan and Haiti, Save the Children was alarmed that numerous cases of sexual abuse of children went unreported. Many children, some of them as young as six, are simply afraid to report about the abuse.

The charity organization said that international inspection is needed to examine the issue. The UN said that the report will be taken into consideration and studied thoroughly.

One of the cases includes a 13-year-old girl who was sexually abused by 10 peacekeepers near her home. The girl suffered from bleeding, trembling and vomiting on the ground. The soldiers involved in the incident were not punished.

There were also numerous cases of sexual exploitation and abuse of children by aid workers. Save the Children said that child protection system should be reinforced and more effective reporting mechanisms used to protect the children.

Heather Kerr, a charity director in Ivory Coast said many children suffer in silence and cannot report about the abuse.

Previously, the international community claimed that a zero-tolerance policy will be applied to child sexual abuse, however no action has been done yet. The UN officials said that in spite of the fact that the organization cannot guarantee that these incidents will not occur again, if allegations are raised, this won't be tolerated.

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