According to CNN, Toure Hamadoun, spokesperson for the UN mission in Cote d'Ivoire (ONUCI), said that the allegations surfaced as a result of a campaign against sexual exploitation, during which local civilians were asked to inform UN authorities about any abuses. When accusations against the Moroccan peacekeepers arose, the UN decided to investigate further, dispatching a team to carry out interviews and gather information.
This is not the first time that United Nations peacekeepers have been accused of sexual misconduct and abuse. The International Herald Tribune reports that more than 300 members of UN peacekeeping missions around the world have been investigated for sexual exploitation and abuse over the past three years in nations including the Congo, Cambodia, and Haiti. Upon investigations into sexual assault, 18 civilian employees have been dismissed, and 17 international police and 144 military personnel have been sent back to their home countries.
In an effort to eliminate sexual misconduct in its global operations, the UN held a three-day conference last month in the Dominican Republic. The United Nations has adopted a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual exploitation and has sought to ensure peacekeepers receive educational training to avert the problem. Toure told AP Television News last Saturday that "We are here to protect the population and not to abuse... When we have the outcome of this investigation, appropriate actions will be taken."
Media Resources: Amnesty International; The Hindu/AP 6/23/07; Voice of America 7/21/07; Reuters 7/22/07; AP 7/22/07
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .