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Representatives Tenney, Schneider Introduce Resolution Condemning Sexual Abuse and Exploitation by UN Peacekeepers

Resolution Calls on Administration to Address this Issue, Focus on Reform Efforts in the UN

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Washington, DC, May 24, 2017 | comments

Today, Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (NY-22) and Congressman Brad Schneider (IL-10) introduced a bipartisan Resolution Condemning Sexual Abuse and Exploitation by UN Peacekeepers.

Over the past decade, allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation launched against UN peacekeepers have become increasingly frequent. Although this is not the norm, a recent AP report found that over the last 12 years, an estimated 2,000 allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation have been made against UN peacekeepers. Many allegations have gone uninvestigated or unaddressed and often involve women and children displaced by conflict or whom are otherwise vulnerable.

The resolution reaffirms our country’s commitment to ensuring that this issue is addressed and directs the Administration to redouble its pressure and focus on efforts toward reform within the United Nations. It also calls on the Administration to establish a clear and meaningful policy to hold troop-contributing countries accountable for allegations of abuse and to assist the UN in providing victims the justice they deserve, particularly by improving the vetting and training of peacekeepers, and by improving investigations to bring greater credibility to the process.

Finally, it urges other member states as well as troop-contributing countries to fully investigate allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation by peacekeepers and to take all necessary and appropriate actions to bring perpetrators to justice. Too often, countries have failed to take sufficient action against peacekeepers who have been accused of serious and disturbing crimes.

“As the House works this week to enhance protections for those who have fallen victim to human trafficking and sexual abuse, Rep. Schneider and I introduced this resolution to shed light on a similar situation tragically impacting vulnerable populations throughout the globe. Recent reports have detailed allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation at the hands of peacekeepers.  The allegations are particularly disturbing as these acts often target women and children in a volatile or unstable region,” said Congresswoman Tenney. “The United States must lead the way in addressing these issues and holding the UN accountable. Our resolution urges the administration to develop strong policies to fully investigate all allegations while providing justice to the victims who have suffered. We cannot let these allegations continue to be swept under the rug or tarnish the otherwise honorable work of peacekeepers, and this resolution is an important step forward in advancing much needed reforms at the UN.”

“The more than 100,000 UN peacekeeping soldiers and civilians currently serving across the globe play a critical role protecting vulnerable populations and promoting stability in some of the world’s most volatile situations,” said Congressman Schneider. “I am deeply concerned by the troubling allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation by some peacekeepers, and while I am pleased to see the UN has made progress in recent years to address this heinous misconduct, more must be done. I am proud to partner with Rep. Tenney to introduce this important resolution to help protect those most at risk.”

Recently, the U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, called on troop-contributing countries to do more to hold soldiers accountable for allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation. This resolution would call on the Administration to continue these important efforts.

In recognizing this issue, the UN has worked to improve its vetting of peacekeepers as well as its training process to better address issues that contribute to sexual abuse and exploitation, while also working to bring more credibility and transparency to investigations following reports of abuse. However, there is far more work to be done and with sustained interest and attention on the part of the U.S., there are several targeted reforms the UN could make through better technology and enhancing investigative training and techniques.

To view the resolution, click here: HConRes62.pdf

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