Poverty-stricken children in third world countries were gang-raped and paid for sex by staff working for foreign aid NGO, MPs have been told.
The International Development Committee heard how children revealed a decade ago that they were abused by men at peacekeeping camps while their families reported being powerless to act.
Corinna Csáky, a child development consultant who investigated claims of child abuse carried out by humanitarian staff and peacekeepers in 2008 for Save the Children, said both local and international aid workers were involved in the sexual exploitation of children.
MPs investigating exploitation in the charity sector were told how the research found perpetrators preyed on the most vulnerable, with victims often existing “outside the system” — not on any register for schooling, humanitarian aid nor other services.
Sex abuse and misconduct reported at Austria-based children's charity SOS Children’s Villages and French Doctors Without Borders in the wake of the Oxfam abuse scandal.
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 16, 2018
“These children are often alone. They are separated from their families. They are living in extreme poverty. Without the protection and support from families, many are using transaction sex just to survive,” Csáky said.
Sharing testimony from the research, for which she interviewed victims from Haiti, South Sudan and the Ivory Coast, she reported a father lamenting that aid workers who abused children “don’t even hide what they are doing”.
MPs heard from the report, entitled ‘No One To Turn To’, how a homeless girl in Haiti was taken “to a man who works for an NGO” by a “group of people who decided to make money off of her”.
“He gave her one American dollar and the little girl was happy to see the money,” according to a young whistleblower. “It was two in the morning. The man took her and raped her. In the morning the little girl could not walk.”
Testimony given at the committee also included evidence from a 14 year-old boy who had described how he and his peers went to work at the peacekeeping camp in order to “earn money to help support our families”.
Oxfam Faces Fresh Child Sex Abuse Allegations Among ‘Sex for Aid’ Claims https://t.co/Qn820YKCuP
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“Sometimes they ask us to find girls. Sometimes they ask us to find girls, especially our age. Often between eight and 10 men will share two or three girls. They also use their mobile phones to film the girls,” the boy disclosed.
A young girl in Haiti had stated that “the people who are raping us and the people in the office are the same people”, Ms Csáky said, telling the committee that the majority of abuse goes unreported because victims are “scared of retaliation”.
Save the Children, which was last year accused of working with criminal gangs smuggling migrants into Europe, has been under serious scrutiny amidst allegations that the pro-open borders NGO failed to properly investigate claims of sexual misconduct by staff including former chief executive Justin Forsyth and former policy director Brendan Cox — widow of the late Jo Cox.
Having withdrawn from government funding bids as a result of the controversy, the organisation has announced that it expects income this year to plummet by more than £67 million.