Africa

UN urges ban on peacekeeping for child sex-abuse

UN peacekeeping soldiers from Rwanda patrol on December 09, 2014 in Bangui. Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption UN peacekeeping troops were sent to CAR when violence flared following a coup

Countries should be barred from contributing troops to UN missions if their peacekeepers sexually abuse children, says a UN review of peacekeeping.

It recommends the home countries of abusers are identified annually.

The review was handed over to the UN secretary general following a French abuse scandal.

The leaked UN report claimed 16 French soldiers abused children in the Central African Republic.

The review also says peacekeepers' home countries should be given a six-month deadline for investigations of alleged sexual abuse by troops.

Currently peacekeepers can only be prosecuted in their home countries.

However, the panel's chairman, former president of East Timor, Jose Ramos-Horta stressed "immunity should not mean impunity".

His review recommended that countries be required to disclose disciplinary action taken against soldiers, as well as governments' failure to report.

Mr Ramos-Horta said UN member states should fund a programme to assist children born from the peacekeepers' sexual exploitation.

The overall review of UN peacekeeping operations was commissioned before the French troops' sexual abuse scandal came out in April.

It said that the alleged abuse took place between December 2013 and June 2014 at a centre for internally displaced people in the Central African Republic capital, Bangui, according to the Guardian.

Last week another leaked UN report said hundreds of women surveyed in Haiti and Liberia said UN troops bartered goods for sex with them. One-third of the allegations involved children.

The UN currently has about 125,000 peacekeepers deployed around the world.

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