Wednesday, August 1, 2018 at 7:41 AM

Oxfam ‘Humanitarians’ Extorting Sex from Haitians for Aid

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

Reports have abounded for years about peacekeepers and aid workers preying on the hapless people they are supposed to be protecting and aiding, respectively. And they have perpetrated their abuses in refugee camps or safe zones from Asia to the Caribbean and all points in between.

Here in part is how I commented on this pandemic of sex abuse in “UN Peacekeepers Preying on Helpless Haitians? Yes.” June 23, 2015:

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It might surprise you to learn that UN peacekeepers have a reputation for preying on helpless girls that rivals the reputation Catholic priests have for preying on little boys. More to the point, the United Nations has shown even less interest in protecting helpless girls from predatory peacekeepers than the Catholic Church has shown in protecting little boys from predatory priests. …

It speaks volumes that the UN has allowed peacekeepers to continue their predatory exploits with impunity – as a June 11 investigative report in The Washington Post makes patently clear. …

But I never imagined peacekeepers would dare perpetrate the kinds of abuses they got away with in distant Africa so close to home (namely UN headquarters in New York City). Yet, dare they did – even while reporters were foraging all over Haiti looking for stories in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake.

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Given that, this Oxfam scandal should come as no surprise:

The aid sector is guilty of ‘complacency verging on complicity’ over an ‘endemic’ sex abuse scandal, a damning report from MPs has said. Stephen Twigg, chairman of the international development committee, said charities were ‘more concerned to protect their own reputation.

The committee’s inquiry was launched in light of revelations that senior Oxfam staff paid survivors of the 2010 Haiti earthquake for sex.

(BBC, July 31, 2018)

In fact, I presaged the committee’s point about charities being more concerned about their own reputation than the welfare of those they’re purportedly trying to help. Because I’ve been decrying this perverse feature of humanitarian missions for over a decade, notably with respect to no less a charitable organization than the United Nations.

I refer you to such commentaries as “UN Peacekeepers like Foxes Guarding Henhouses,” April 4, 2016, “The United Nations: Corrupt from Head to Toe?” June 15, 2005, and “Kofi Annan’s UN Malaise: Corruption and Sex Abuse,” February 20, 2005, which includes this excerpt:

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It takes a remarkable record of professional incompetence to provoke the (liberal) New York Times to join the (conservative) Wall Street Journal in calling for one’s resignation. As Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan has achieved this dubious distinction – and deservedly so. …

A few weeks ago, disgusted officials leaked an internal UN report, which found that peacekeepers had sexually exploited and abused African refugees in the DR Congo. These leaks forced Annan to admit that he had known for some time about his staff’s criminal conduct. Conduct, incidentally, that included pedophilia, rape and prostitution (some of which was caught on tape).

He offered words of contrition to the African victims and pledged to convene a commission to investigate these crimes. Except that, in doing so, he was treating these victims like poor, ignorant fools. After all, just years ago, another internal UN report found evidence of similar ‘widespread’ sexual exploitation and abuse of African refugees by UN staff.

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Clearly, UN peacekeepers have been behaving like foxes guarding henhouses for decades. Therefore, it’s hardly surprising that Oxfam aid workers have been aping their behavior.

To be fair, there might be something in the DNA of trained soldiers that predisposes them to this kind of predation – even on peacekeeping missions. Only this explains what plays out in The UN Sex Abuse Scandal, a documentary that airs tonight on London’s Chanel 4.

It references over 1,700 cases where UN peacekeepers have been accused of rape. But it features Didier Bourguet as the only one ever jailed for sex crimes. Here is the cavalier way he explains the prevalence of their predatory behavior:

They were starving so it was easy. The children were 15, 14, 16. Everybody knew that some of the UN civilian staff had intercourse with young ladies for money.

(The Sun, July 31, 2018)

As it happens, I had cause to decry this apparent predisposition in “Rape as a Weapon of War in Congo,” October 8, 2010.

By the same token, though, one might expect there to be something in the DNA of trained aid workers that inoculates them against such predatory impulses. Except that there’s the prevailing precedent of Catholic priests preying on little children.

Indeed, it’s arguable that predatory aid workers come from the same defective mold from which God made pedophile priests. Of course, if there is a God, for extorting sex, they will get Aids.

I wrote Monday’s commentary on the MeToo allegations against CBS chairman Les Moonves. I cited many commentaries in which I argued that the best way to combat the pandemic of sexual harassment is to put women in positions of power in every facet of public life.

Accordingly, charitable organizations would do well to put women on the front lines of their missions. I fear this is the only way to combat the menace of peacekeepers and aid workers behaving like sex fiends.

Related commentaries:
UN peacekeepers
Guarding henhouses
United Nations head to toe
Kofi Annan malaise
rape as weapon
Catholic priests
MeToo

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