Women in Haiti and Liberia are selling sex to United Nations peacekeepers in exchange for aid and lifestyle improvements like cell phones and church shoes.
According to the BBC, a new UN report says that women in the aforementioned countries, motivated by “hunger, poverty and lifestyle improvement,” are pushed to have “transactional sex” with peacekeepers. Between 2008 and 2013, 480 sexual exploitation and abuse claims have been filed, and one-third of those include individuals under 18. The UN report notes that this situation is “quite common but underreported” and investigation of the claims take over a year.
The women are paid in cash as well as items like jewelry and phones.
“In cases of non-payment, some women withheld the badges of peacekeepers and threatened to reveal their infidelity via social media.”
While the UN says transactional sex between their workers and locals in need isn’t a new phenomenon and the number of sexual misconduct reports filed internationally has slimmed in 2014, I’d love to hear them say that this type of behavior isn’t acceptable for agents of the United Nations and they are dedicated to giving aid without blow jobs as payment. Instead, the Washington Post reports the organization’s official stance is that “such sex, based on inherently unequal power dynamics is discouraged, but permitted.”
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Image via AP.