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Horrible acts of depravation

Horrible acts of depravation
Highlights

Something is wrong, grossly wrong, with mankind The way men are treating women is not only criminal but disgusting too Cutting across nations and borders women seem to be the singular most target of depraved men of the societies

Something is wrong, grossly wrong, with mankind. The way men are treating women is not only criminal but disgusting too. Cutting across nations and borders women seem to be the singular most target of depraved men of the societies.

It had affected the offices, high and low, the streets, governments, judiciary, the Church, so called holy men of all religions, sports and film industry alike. Now it is the turn of the United Nations, the body representing the comity of nations to turn its focus inward a bit and respond to the multiple cases of sexual abuse by its own members working for the organisation.

Multiple reports of its peacekeepers perpetrating sexual crimes have caused immense damage to its reputation and operations in 15 countries, particularly Haiti and Central African Republic, where it runs peacekeeping missions. But, will the UN be able to investigate its own officials? It has failed so far in properly handling hundreds of allegations made against its staff and peacekeepers across the world, ranging from fathering children with women under their protection to transactional sex and child abuse.

Secretary General Antonio Guterres last year called the issue a 'global menace' and a top priority for his tenure as UN chief. The abuse not only undermines UN values as a humanitarian organisation, but it also erodes the hard-earned trust of the communities, the countries and its partners and donors throughout the world. Botching of at least 14 investigations of abuse has further weakened it.

More than 340 allegations have been made against peacekeepers since 2010, just a minuscule of cases that went unreported. And only 90 soldiers have been repatriated to their home countries and 37 of them jailed in their home countries, 16 were dismissed and others fined or demoted. As for the civilian staff only 37 of the 181 allegations made against civilian staff across 32 UN field missions since 2010 were found to be substantiated with 26 leading to termination or dismissal.

Yet another issue, far more serious one in this context, is that of the double standards that are at play in the punishments. If a UN official in New York rapes an American child, he will face hell. Similarly, someone in Geneva rapes a Swiss child, a huge outcry follows. But when it comes to perpetrators of crimes in Africa, rarely any action is initiated which simply implies that raping a black child is OK.

More than 600 claims of women and children of rape and abuse are said to be only the tip of iceberg - at least 100 times more cases should be there, officials admit. The irony is that the UN itself does not disclose the number of cases despite having 561 UN personnel at the centre of these claims. A recent global sexual abuse charity 'Hear Their Cries' study claimed UN staff could have raped out 60,000 acts against women and children.

Such is the predatory nature of men working for the UN. Still worse, US president Donald Trump who himself faces several allegations, has pledged his support to arrest the crime. What a 'manly' world is this?

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