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UN peacekeepers involved in prostitution in Bosnia

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  • Zafar Khan
    UN peacekeepers involved in prostitution in Bosnia http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/news/fileon4.shtml Bosnia: brothel raid Twenty-five-year-old, Olympia has been
    Message 1 of 1 , May 27 2:19 AM
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      UN peacekeepers involved in prostitution in Bosnia


      http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/news/fileon4.shtml

      Bosnia: brothel raid

      Twenty-five-year-old, "Olympia" has been bought and
      sold seven times in the past nine months. Until two
      weeks ago she was working as a prostitute in a bar in
      Bosnia - one of an estimated 2000 women in the sex
      trade
      that has burgeoned across the Balkans.

      Olympia's story is typical: in September last year she
      was lured from her home village in Romania to a town
      near the Serbian border with the
      prospect of a highly paid job. From there she was
      kidnapped and taken to a bar in Serbia, where she was
      held against her will before being shipped
      on to Bosnia, where she was again sold for sex.

      What's of particular interest in Olympia's story is
      the detail of her client base. The majority were
      local, some of them policemen, but a sizeable number
      of the customers at the brothel in which she was held
      were Americans, British and other foreigners, many of
      them thought to have been serving with the United
      Nations peace-keeping force in Bosnia.

      It's a fact of life that some men use prostitutes, but
      what's causing growing concern in the region is the
      emerging evidence that members of the UN have also
      become involved in helping to organise the sex trade.

      A report due to be published next month by the
      Washington-based justice organisation, Human Rights
      Watch, will document a series of cases in
      which peace-keepers are accused of collusion with
      traffickers.

      Last month the UN's former chief human rights officer
      for the Tusla region gave evidence to the US Congress
      that some peacekeepers are "knowingly
      involved in the trade in partnership with organised
      crime." And an industrial tribunal in Britain has also
      been hearing evidence from a policewoman serving under
      the UN who has blown the whistle on her
      colleagues and is now claiming unfair dismissal
      against her employers.

      The UN itself has admitted that 15 international
      police officers were expelled or voluntarily left
      Bosnia after facing allegations of involvement in
      trafficking. It has stepped up its efforts to bring
      the traffickers
      to book and has imposed a stricter code of practice
      for employees.

      There are still serious questions surrounding the
      effectiveness of the policing operation on the ground,
      and the lack of transparency over the
      way in which the UN has investigated previous cases in
      which its personnel have been implicated.




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