Target: Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General for the United Nations
Goal: Crack down on rampant sexual coercion on the part of United Nations peacekeepers.
Hundreds of women in conflict zones and disaster areas are being forced into performing sex acts with United Nations peacekeepers in order to receive vital aid, according to an internal report prepared by the international body. This is disgusting exploitation and needs to be put to an end as soon as possible. Demand that the U.N. leadership crack down on this unspeakable coercion.
The U.N. Office of Internal Oversight Services has found evidence that no less than 480 women in Haiti and Liberia have been forced to perform “transactional sex” with peacekeepers working in their countries in order to receive the aid that they were entitled to by the U.N. Knowing that many women and children in these countries were and continue to be in positions of desperation due to poverty and hunger, U.N. peacekeepers also offered goods like money, cell phones, and jewelry to individuals in exchange for sex. Horrifyingly, it found that a full one-third of all such cases involved children.
What makes matters worse is that the Office believes that such exploitation is “quite common in peacekeeping missions.” Given the fact that such cases of coercion are in all likelihood massively underreported and that the U.N. currently has 125,000 peacekeepers active around the world, the true extent of this atrocious victimization is probably much greater than the report uncovered.
This epidemic of exploitation and coercion has got to be addressed and stamped out without mercy. Sign the petition below to demand that the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, immediately launch an effort to eradicate this disgusting victimization within its peacekeeping ranks.
Dear Secretary-General Ki-moon,
I am writing you today regarding the report recently released by your Office of Internal Oversight Services that details, in strangely clinical terms, “transactional sex” taking place among your peacekeepers in Haiti and Liberia and, it supposes, elsewhere around the world. This report demands immediate action.
The United Nation’s duty when it comes to peacekeeping in conflict zones and areas afflicted by natural disasters is simple, at least in theory. It’s to help the people there who have been victimized by providing goods and services to make sure people survive and can return to a normal way of life. That’s it.
Unfortunately that mission is being taken advantage of by sexual predators and pedophiles in your ranks. As the report outlines, they exploit the conditions of hunger and poverty affecting the people in the areas where they work and coerce them into performing sex acts on them in exchange for money and other aid. This, I’m sure you’ll agree, is an absolutely disgusting abuse of power.
Your international body’s job is to help people, not victimize them further. You cannot let this epidemic of sexual violence continue. I demand that you immediately launch a crackdown on the perpetrators among your peacekeepers of this sexual coercion.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Andrew W. McGalliard