"In 2001 I was raped. I was 31 years old, had two university degrees and was still doing postgraduate studies, I had family, friends, a job. Many more resources than most rape victims have. Even so, it was the start of an ordeal whose scars I still feel today."
How to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment in the aid sector is a question that has come to the forefront in the past year as allegations have been made against various global organisations, including the United Nations.
It was two a.m. on Aug. 2 as peacekeeping forces from the U.N. Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) searched for a criminal suspect in the PK5 Muslim enclave of the capital city of Bangui.
Back in November 2007, about 108 military personnel from an Asian country, serving with the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Haiti, were deported home after being accused of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of minors.
“We can really argue as much as we want but if we put ourselves in the skin of victims, we just have to do something to stop this.”
She is just 14, but Janida avoids eye contact with others, preferring to look down at the ground and nodding her head if someone tries to engage her in conversation.
An internal United Nations expert report released Monday by the non-governmental organisation AIDS-Free World reveals serious contradictions in the U.N.’s reporting of sexual exploitation and abuse by U.N. peacekeepers.
Nearly half of the four billion people who reside in the Asia-Pacific region are women. They comprise two-thirds of the region’s poor, with millions either confined to their homes or pushed into the informal labour market where they work without any safeguards for paltry daily wages. Millions more become victims of trafficking and are forced into prostitution or sexual slavery.
The murder of a young Argentine girl on a beach in neighbouring Uruguay shook both countries and drew attention to a kind of violence that goes almost unnoticed as a cause of death among Argentine adolescents: femicide.
A normally quiet second-grade student, Yuan Yuan* suffers from a mild mental disorder that impacts her ability to learn and communicate. Her father, also mentally disabled, left her several years ago to find work in the city and his family hasn’t heard from him since. Unable to support the family, her mother also left and never returned.
At 32, Nalluri Poshani looks like an old woman. Squatting on the floor amidst piles of tobacco and tree leaves that she expertly transforms into ‘beedis’, a local cigarette, she tells IPS, “I feel dizzy. The tobacco gives me headaches and nausea.”
Logging is the largest industry in the Solomon Islands, an archipelago located northwest of Fiji, where 80 percent of the islands are covered in tropical rainforest. But, although timber accounts for 60 percent of this South Pacific nation’s export earnings, most local communities have experienced no beneficial development.
Gay and transsexual immigrants who enter the U.S. detention system face high levels of sexual abuse, new research warns, at times leading them to decide to return to their home countries rather than stay to fight a legal battle.
In some Democratic Republic of Congo schools, teachers and senior authorities are using their status to abuse girls who do not know their rights, according to the African Association for the Defence of Human Rights.
When a five-year-old was rescued from the basement of a building in the eastern part of India’s capital, New Delhi, the doctors treating her were horrified to find the little girl had not only been raped by two men several times, but the perpetrators had also inflicted severe perineal injuries by inserting foreign objects into her body.
It was the ghostly silence that struck him hardest as he walked through the Colombo suburb of Kirulapone the day after the lifeless body of a six-year-old girl had been discovered floating in a filthy canal, Kumar de Silva, a well-known local media personality, told IPS.