Pursuing natural health & thinking beyond the superficial. Deconstructing Culture.

It’s hard to even know who they are and they’re persecuted too.

Rape is not insignificant nor a misdemeanor, it’s an unacceptable and unforgivable crime; and the numbers are higher than reported. Many parents and families sell their children or branches/specific lines of their children into all kinds of things. Ultimately its prostitution/abuse but there’s all kinds whether it be a rent-a-bride (buying a girl for a night, calling her a wife so that makes it ‘ok’ and bringing her back the next day), a rent-a-boy (marrying another male isn’t acceptable, just raping them is), obvious prostitution, ritual abuse, supernatural/cult abuse, invocation to be a host/attaché which is a lifelong attachment and can pass down to the next set of children, trauma inducing, bestiality, experimentation, near-death and death. Hey at least if something eats you [quickly] all it can do is kill you, better than torturing you for life, the ‘afterlife’ and your descendants. Then of course there’s the issue of migrants/immigrants and prisoners (though many think of them as interchangeable) I can think of one prominent world ‘country’ (that thinks itself the if not a world centre) that it allows its prison guards/soldiers a number of rapes per foreign/other religion female prisoner per guard. Don’t think that it’s certain countries and religions that do this, people are people no matter where they are, what they look like, how rich/poor they are. It’s not more or less in dependent on how wealthy or ‘educated’ the country is nor the colour of the people or the dominant belief systems. Also people who’ve been raped as children are often still abused well into adulthood – once they’re in it’s almost impossible to get out and predators can spot/sport them at a distance.

However some places are just like ‘open season’ e.g. war torn places, disaster ridden places, places with ‘peacekeepers’. Africa as a continent (not even specific areas) has long been a hell-hole when it comes to mass exploitation from within and without, wars, resource grabbing, pharmaceutical testing and dumping, corruption (well obviously), and basically not giving a crap about each other either.

Failed by courts, children bear brunt of rape in Ivory Coast: activists

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-ivorycoast-sexcrimes-idUSKCN10128N

By Kieran Guilbert

DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Children in Ivory Coast bear the brunt of sexual violence in a culture where rape is widely considered “insignificant” and perpetrators usually go unpunished, activists say.

Two in three rape victims in the West African nation are young girls, according to a recent U.N. report, which recorded some 1,130 cases of rape between 2012 and 2015.

Yet the number of rape cases is likely to be far higher, the U.N.’s Ivory Coast mission (UNOCI) said, as many victims do not come forward due to the fear of retaliation and stigma within their communities and a lack of confidence in the legal system.

While Ivory Coast has recovered from two civil wars, in 2002 and 2011, to boast one of Africa’s fastest growing economies, years of conflict have fueled a culture of violence, where rape is rife, according to the UNOCI.

“Rape is considered banal by a lot of people, they claim sex is an obligatory rite of passage for every woman,” said Jean Claude Kobena of the Abidjan-based group SOS Violences Sexuelles.

“They think no one should be imprisoned for an act they see as so insignificant,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Children are particularly vulnerable to sexual violence because so many roam the streets, out of school and forced to work because of widespread poverty, child rights experts say.

Almost half of the 20 million population of Ivory Coast live in poverty, and six out of every 10 children of secondary school age are not in education, according to data from the World Bank.

“Millions of kids are out of school and on the streets, relying on odd jobs to survive, which exposes them to abuse and rape,” said Save the Children’s country director Famari Barro.

NO MORE ‘MISDEMEANORS’

Rape victims and their families are often not aware of how to report the crime, or cannot afford to do so, activists say.

Victims may have to travel far to a court, and they must first obtain a medical certificate – which can cost up to 50,000 CFA francs ($85) – to prove they have been raped before pressing charges, said the United Nations children’s agency (UNICEF).

Most rape cases in Ivory Coast are therefore settled out of court, usually without the victim’s consent, with the intention of avoiding stigma and preserving peace within communities, and sparing the suspected rapist from jail, the UNOCI’s report said.

“For victims to seek justice, the culture of settlements must end, allowing them to speak up and be referred to support services,” said UNICEF deputy representative Christina de Bruin.

While investigations were opened in 90 percent of rape cases documented by the UNOCI, less than a fifth led to a conviction.

In all 203 cases that ended in conviction, the perpetrators were found guilty of a lesser offense than rape – often indecent assault – which is a common legal practice, the report said.

“Although seen as a way for victims to access justice and facilitate a prompt judgment, this practice minimizes the gravity of rape,” the UNOCI said.

Ivory Coast should revise its criminal code, which punishes rape without defining it, provide victims with free legal aid and hold special court sessions for rape cases, the UNOCI said.

The justice ministry this week in a confidential document seen by the Thomson Reuters Foundation issued a notice telling the authorities not to recategorize rapes as ‘misdemeanors’.

Issued a week after the UNOCI report, it also says sexual offences must be fully investigated and prosecuted, even if out-of-court settlements are reached or complaints are withdrawn.

The Ivorian government spokesman did not respond to requests for comment.

“Children have the right to be protected from these criminal acts which can cause lifelong incurable wounds,” said de Bruin.

($1 = 596.8100 CFA francs)

(Reporting By Kieran Guilbert, Editing by Ros Russell; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, trafficking, corruption and climate change. Visit news.trust.org)

El Nino driving child marriage and labor across southern Africa: agencies

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-africa-drought-children-idUSKCN10023K

By Katy Migiro

NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Tens of thousands of children across southern Africa are being pushed out of school and into early marriage or child labor because of drought and hunger caused by the El Nino weather pattern, charities said on Wednesday.

Southern Africa has been hard hit over the past year by an El Nino-inspired drought that has wilted crops, slowed economic growth and driven food prices higher.

Increased numbers of children are trading sex and doing domestic work to survive across nine countries, a report by World Vision, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Plan International said.

“El Nino’s impacts are worsening the lives of children in a number of areas with many facing sexual exploitation, violence, child labor and psychosocial distress,” World Vision UK’s child rights expert Tracy Shields said in a statement.

Children have become separated from their families as they leave home to find work or food, the report said.

More than 60 million people, two thirds of them in east and southern Africa, are facing food shortages because of droughts linked to El Nino, a warming of sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, according to the United Nations.

The arrival of La Nina, a weather pattern which usually bringing floods to southern Africa, could worsen the situation, the U.N. has said.

Meteorologists predict a 50 to 75 percent chance of La Nina developing in the second half of this year.

Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Swaziland and Zimbabwe have declared national drought emergencies.

South Africa has declared a drought emergency in eight of the country’s nine provinces, while Mozambique has declared an alert for some southern and central areas.

Southern Africa has a three-month window of opportunity before the 2016/2017 planting season, to take urgent measures to prevent millions of rural families becoming dependent on humanitarian assistance in 2018, the U.N. has said.

(Reporting by Katy Migiro; Editing by Alex Whiting; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, trafficking, property rights and climate change. Visit news.trust.org to see more stories.)

Child rape: U.N. pot calls the kettle black in Ivory Coast

Child rape: U.N. pot calls the kettle black in Ivory Coast

By Tom Murphy on 15 July 2016

The headline from a new U.N. report says that the rate of rape remains high and that the perpetrators are eluding justice. Ironically, it is not about U.N. peacekeepers and foreign forces, but about the west African country Ivory Coast.

According to the United Nations Operation inCôte d’Ivoire report, in the five years since the country returned to peace, rape remains a prevalent problem, with children representing more than half of the 1,129 cases recorded between 2012 and 2015.

“Côte d’Ivoire in recent years has recorded significant progress in terms of human rights, but the persistence of rape and impunity towards their perpetrators remain of serious concern and requires urgent action,” said Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, U.N. high commissioner for human rights in a media statement marking the report’s release.

The statement has a familiar ring to it. The U.N. made similar statements in March after yet another round of revelations that peacekeepers sexually abused the people they were meant to protect in the Central African Republic. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was “shocked to the core” by the news.

“Our focus must be on the victims and their families. We are talking about women and young children who have been traumatized in the worst imaginable way,” said Ban in a statement at the time. “These crimes only fester in silence. That is why the United Nations is shining a spotlight on these despicable, depraved and deeply disturbing allegations. I will continue to be unrelenting in confronting this scourge and raising it proactively at every opportunity.”

The common thread is a lack of accountability. According to this new report, authorities investigated more than 90 percent of the cases, but the conviction rate was lower than 20 percent. Cases that did go to trial and yielded convictions were for lesser offenses, reportedly to speed up justice, “[minimizing]the gravity of rape.”

The U.N. body said its prime concern is protecting children, and recommended taking “all necessary measures to bring to justice and punish all perpetrators of rape, particularly against children.”

The strongly worded statements to the Ivory Coast included advice the U.N. itself should heed. France announced Thursday that it would end its three-year military operations in the Central African Republic. Its controversial tenure was marked by accusations of rape and sexual abuse by French soldiers, who are unlikely to face criminal charges any time soon and might not be punished at all.

If soldiers from a country with strong judicial institutions are unlikely to be held accountable for their crimes, what chance is there that peacekeepers from developing countries will be brought to justice? The very same problems that influence impunity in the Ivory Coast are at play with peacekeepers.

——————————————————————————–

Many people think of UN peacekeeper violations as isolated events and like many soldiers in general i.e. tools of mass destruction they don’t care and get away with it, it’s part of the job. Being potentially raped by their own is part of the job too. Who do you trust? They’re just people and under stress they do terrible things, others don’t need stress just half an opportunity/temptation regardless of potential consequences, especially if there aren’t any.

If you had a price, what do you think you’d be ‘worth’? If you were selling yours or someone else’s kid or anybody of any age – what would you do it for, an end to poverty, an end to a situation in your family, big time success, just because you don’t like the person, because they’re a cute little thing, because you want to groom them into something else, a rite of passage, bragging rights, to show loyalty to a group/clan, to please a spirit/other being/god? There’s lots of reasons and not everybody needs the push the become a shove.

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