mercredi 1 août 2018

The UN Sex Abuse Scandal review – careful, dignified and gruelling

This powerful documentary exposed the culture of impunity among UN peacekeepers, who have been accused of 1,700 crimes of sexual violence

I am reading a book called The House on Vesper Sands, in which a woman who is trying to save girls and young women from lives of destitution and all that entails dismisses the suggestion by an amateur investigator that a supernatural force may be behind a spate of recent disappearances among her vulnerable charges. “I’ve seen a good deal of the world,” she says. “And it’s darker than any of them stories. Men need no magic to do harm. If they did, there would be a good deal less suffering in the world.”

It was a line that kept coming back to me as presenter and producer Ramita Navai’s documentary The UN Sex Abuse Scandal unfolded. Her film set out the scale and dimensions of – well, I was going to say the predatory behaviour of some uniformed members and civilians undertaking UN peacekeeping missions. But as we saw recently when objections were raised to a Guardian headline on migrant children “selling sex” to pay for passage from Italy to France, on the grounds that it could more accurately be rendered “children being raped by adults” (it was amended to “sexually exploited”), there are many ways to put these things. By the end of the gruelling hour it was clear that another description, at least as accurate, might be that it was the bleakest reading yet taken of men’s capacity for sexual violence.

Related: Sexual harassment and assault rife at United Nations, staff claim

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from Children | The Guardian

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