Sunday, September 11, 2011

The wistleblower - An eyeopener for the UN?

It was an accident.I was searching for another topic and suddenly the review of 'The Wistleblower' came up. Curiocity forced me to read it full, check out the issue in newspapers and later watch the movie itself. Contrary to my expectation, the story was not about some sting sting operation to reveal the sex secets of top leaders or the corruption scandal. The issue was more serious - its about human trafficking and sex trade involving minors. What was shocking is the name of accused agency - The United Nations.

Movie started with the posting of Kathryn Bolkovac - a US Policwoman - to the disturbed Bosia. Here she finds out that the peacekeepers who are supposed to help the common citizens, are involded in the dirty trade. In the end, when her senior offices refused to act, she blow up the Wistle and for this action removed from the service.

You can read the news related to sexual assult accusation against UN peacekeepers at, Guardian, NewYorkTimes and The Hindu.

Accustions against UN peacekeeping missions in Bosnia is not an isolated incident. UN is running into problems, in other places like Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Ivory Coast etc. This week, issue of sexual assult on an 18 year old girl in Haiti resulted in furious protests in that country. Accoring to UN, cases related to sexual exploitation and abuse reduced from 108 in 2007 to just 5 in this year(so far) - 85 in 2008, 63 in 2009, 33 in 2010.

But these type of incidents are affecting the image of UN. Sending peacekeeping missions to various problematic areas around the world is to help the people - who were already suffering heavily because of furious nature or ethnic violence. Aim is to make the affected people feel safe under the UN flag. In such a situation, if UN peacekeeping force itself is engaging such activities? Nowhere in the civilized world, sexual assult is considered as a counter terrorism method. These types of actions are gross violations of basic human rights. Moreover, if such type of activities are done by foreign armies, then for the affected people its not only a personal humiliation but humiliation of their national pride. If the guilty people are not properly prosecuted, it will only aggrevate the wounds.

In this case the member countries too have to cooperate with UN, as the peacekeers are enjoying diplomatic immunity it is important for the member countries to take necessary actions against the guilty ones. Zero tolerance policy should come out form the files to the grounds.


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