The popular image of the peacekeepers who travel to troubled regions is of a legion of selfless Mother Theresas, putting aside the comforts of their First World lives to aid those most in need. And that image may well be true for the greater number of them. Unfortunately, one of Africa's many plagues is parasites who, under the guise of being UN peacemakers or representatives of NGOs, come to prey on the most vulnerable:
Young girls in Liberia are still being sexually exploited by aid workers and peacekeepers despite pledges to stamp out such abuse, Save the Children says.
Girls as young as eight are being forced to have sex in exchange for food by workers for local and international agencies, according to its report.
The agency says such abuse is continuing as people displaced by the civil war return to their villages.
The UN in Liberia said it would investigate specific allegations.
The United Nations promised to put safeguards in place after sexual abuse in the refugee camps of West Africa was first revealed four years ago.
But a study by Save the Children, which involved speaking to more than 300 people in camps for people displaced by the war, found that abuse was still widespread.
The report said that all of the respondents clearly stated that more than half of the girls in their locations were affected.
Girls from the age of eight to 18 years were being sold for sex, "commonly referred to as 'man business'," the report noted.
The same article goes on to detail other indignities and abuses aidworkers, teachers and government leaders heap on girls and young women who are entirely dependent on them for survival.
I'll point out as I always do after passing along this type of information that NOW, and other Western women's groups, are conspicuously silent regarding these acts of misogyny. Apparently all their energy is currently being used to put forward the economically ludicrous notion of comparable worth.
Hat tip: Laer, who is taking a break from Cheat-Seeking Missiles, but who rightly felt it was important that this story be heard.