The UN’s Victims’ Rights Advocate who champions the rights and dignity of victims of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA), has urged more women to come forward in Haiti, if they have paternity claims against UN personnel serving in former peacekeeping missions there.
In an interview with UN News, Jane Connors acknowledges that around 28 women already have outstanding claims, relating to 34 children.
An academic study published last December based on interviews with Haitians living near UN bases, claimed that hundreds of children had been born to ‘blue helmets’, who had sexually abused and impregnated girls, some allegedly “as young as 11”.
Ms. Connors said that if asked, she would have gladly shared with researchers the fact that the UN had been supporting some of the women abandoned and their children, since 2018, and she said the UN was working “very hard” to make sure they get access to services, and justice in their claims against troops who have returned home.
Just before the publication of the Secretary-General's latest SEA report, Matt Wells began by asking Ms. Connors what putting victims at the centre of the UN’s response to sexual exploitation and abuse, meant in practice.