Peacekeepers of the United Nations had hundreds of babies with underage girls in Haiti before they were swiftly abandoned, a new report claims.
The study into the UN mission in Haiti said girls as young as 11 were left pregnant after being raped by UN officials.
Some of the girls were traded for “a few coins” in order to get food and would then be raped by the peacekeepers so they could survive, the British-led study found.
After their children were born, the underage mothers were left to a life of poverty, according to the Times.
Dailymail.co.uk reports: The problem of UN workers fathering children during the political upheaval in the wake of the 2010 earthquake became some bad locals even had a nickname for it.
Haitians have reportedly named the peacekeeper-fathered children as ‘Petit Minustah’, a play on the UN’s acronym – United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti – for their mission.
Sabine Lee, of the University of Birmingham, led the team that carried out more than 2,500 interviews with people living in Haiti near UN bases over a three-month period in 2017.
The study concluded that, ‘girls as young as 11 were sexually abused and impregnated by peacekeepers and…left in misery to raise their children alone’.
Soldiers from as many as 12 different countries, including Uruguay, Chile, Argentina, Canada and France, were found to have impregnated local women, the report stated.
Lee said it was impossible to work out the exact number of peacekeeper babies but added that, ‘most researchers and NGO officials would agree that hundreds is a credible estimate’.
She added in the report: ‘It’s a pervasive issue, not isolated cases. The multitude of stories and the fact that sexual exploitation, abuse and the existence and abandonment of peacekeeper-fathered children appeared over and over again in the stories indicates that this is a very significant problem.’
The UN mission in Haiti is one of its longest peacekeeping deployments and the humanitarian effort has been dogged by controversy.
After the devastating earthquake, Nepalese soldiers inadvertently introduced a cholera outbreak that claimed 10,000 lives.
This was followed by 114 Sri Lankan troops who were sent home following allegations of child abuse.
Last February the Charity Commission launched an investigation into Oxfam’s operations in Haiti, Chad and Liberia as part of a wide-scale inquiry into aid workers’ conduct overseas.
The charity’s bosses were also hauled before MPs for a separate probe into allegations of sexual misconduct by its staff.
The developments came as Oxfam admitted rehiring one of the workers sacked over the initial Haiti sex scandal.
When the report was published in June this year, there were found to be ‘serious problems with the culture, morale and behaviour’ of Oxfam staff in Haiti.