Since President Donald Trump took office, he has widely condemned the United Nations for inaction and consistent failures.
Conservatives have long toyed with the idea of a U.S. departure from the ineffective international body.
A recent investigation by The Associated Press reveals the time for that departure may be now. The organizations globalist ideals haven’t just resulted in rampant corruption and U.S. taxpayer waste — it has put the well being of innocent children around the world at risk.
A shocking investigation of U.N. missions during the past 12 years found nearly 2,000 allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation by foreign forces and other personnel in multiple countries — and the crisis is much larger than previously known.
More than 300 of the allegations involved children, the investigation found, but only a fraction of the alleged perpetrators served any jail time.
The men who came from a far-away place and spoke a strange language offered the Haitian children cookies and other snacks. Sometimes they gave them a few dollars. But the price was high: The Sri Lankan peacekeepers wanted sex from girls and boys as young as 12.
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“I did not even have breasts,” said a girl, known as V01 — Victim No. 1. She told investigators that over the next three years, from ages 12 to 15, she had sex with nearly 50 peacekeepers, including a “Commandant” who gave her 75 cents. Sometimes she slept in U.N. trucks on the base next to the decaying resort, whose once-glamorous buildings were being overtaken by jungle.
Investigators with the AP interviewed alleged victims, current and former U.N. officials and investigators and sought answers from 23 countries on the number of peacekeepers who faced such allegations and, what if anything, was done to prosecute these sexual deviants.
With rare exceptions, few nations responded to repeated requests, while the names of those found guilty are kept confidential, making accountability impossible to determine.
Without agreement for widespread reform and accountability from the U.N.’s member states, critics say the solution is simple: It is time for the U.S. to leave the corrupt organization once and for all.
In Haiti, at least 134 Sri Lankan peacekeepers exploited nine children in a sex ring from 2004 to 2007, according to an internal U.N. report obtained by the AP investigators. In the wake of the report, 114 peacekeepers were sent home.
None were ever imprisoned.
In March, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced new measures to tackle sexual abuse and exploitation by U.N. peacekeepers and other personnel.
But the proclamation had a depressingly familiar ring: More than a decade ago, the United Nations commissioned a report that promised to do much the same thing, yet most of the reforms never materialized.
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For a full two years after those promises were made, the children in Haiti were passed around from soldier to soldier. And in the years since, peacekeepers have been accused of sexual abuse the world over.
In one particularly grim case in Haiti, a teenage boy said he was gang-raped in 2011 by Uruguayan peacekeepers who filmed the alleged assault on a cellphone. Dozens of Haitian women also say they were raped, and dozens more had what is euphemistically called “survival sex” in a country where most people live on less than $2.50 a day.
Haitian lawyer Mario Joseph has been trying to get compensation for victims of a deadly cholera strain linked to Nepalese peacekeepers that killed an estimated 10,000 people. Now, he is also trying to get child support for about a dozen Haitian women left pregnant by peacekeepers.
U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has been calling for reforms in the United Nations. He may finally get them under Trump, whose administration has proposed a 31 percent reduction to the U.S. foreign aid and diplomacy budget.
Corker and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley want a review of all missions.
Corker recalled his disgust at hearing of the U.N. sexual abuse cases uncovered last year in Central African Republic.
“If I heard that a U.N. peacekeeping mission was coming near my home in Chattanooga,” he told investigators, “I’d be on the first plane out of here to go back and protect my family.”
The Associated Press contributed to this article.