Two Canadian cops accused of sex abuse during UN missions overseas
In one case, a Canadian officer was found to have fathered a child, and the other case is still under investigation. No other details were reported.
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Two Canadian police officers were accused of sexual misconduct during United Nations missions abroad last year, a report released Friday states.
In one case, according to the report, a Canadian officer was found after a 55-day investigation to have fathered a child, pulled back from the country involved, and suspended for nine days.
The second case is still under investigation, the report states. No further details of the two cases were reported.
A spokesman for Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale referred calls for comment to the RCMP, which manages foreign deployment of Canadian officers from two dozen services across the country.
In response, the RCMP said Canada adheres to the highest standards of police conduct on peace missions and will act appropriately where abuse occurs.
"Once a police officer has returned to Canada, any disciplinary action for misconduct in mission is the responsibility of the officer's home police service," RCMP Sgt. Harold Pfleiderer told The Canadian Press in an email.
"Both of the Canadian cases...were based on the UN definition of sexual exploitation and abuse; as a result, the elements of these allegations may or may not constitute a criminal offence in Canada."
In addition, RCMP policy bans any kind of sexual relations between deployed officers and citizens of mission countries, Pfleiderer said.
The report on special measures for protection from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse by soldiers and police personnel serving as peacekeepers was released by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
"The secretary-general remains distressed by continuing instances of sexual exploitation and abuse but resolute in ensuring ever more effective means to prevent and address the profound betrayal through such acts by United Nations personnel against the people they are charged with protecting," the report states.
In all, 41 adults and 22 minors were either alleged or confirmed as victims, the report states.
Amid anger at allegations of sexual violence by foreign forces serving in the Central African Republic, Ban last year ordered intensified efforts to prevent sexual abuse. He also put in place a "zero-tolerance" policy.
The secretary-general also called for on-site courts martial of alleged perpetrators and DNA testing to identify them. He urged the 193 UN member states to update their national laws to ensure they apply to sex crimes committed by their citizens serving in UN peace operations.
The new report is the first one to identify the countries of alleged perpetrators.
The total number of new allegations of sexual exploitation or sexual abuse related to UN personnel last year reached 99 — 19 more than the year before.
"This regrettable increase in the number of new allegations signifies that more needs to be done to reduce the number of allegations and, more importantly, the number of victims affected by sexual exploitation and abuse perpetrated by United Nations personnel," the report states.
Of those, 69 involved allegations of the sexual exploitation and abuse on nine current peacekeeping missions and one closed one. Of the missions involved, 15 involved staff members or UN volunteers, 38 involved members of military contingents or UN military observers, and 16 involved police officers.
At the end of January, investigators had finished work in 17 cases, finding seven complaints substantiated.
The largest number of complaints came from four peacekeeping missions in Haiti, Liberia, Ivory Coast and Mali. UN stabilization missions in the Central African Republic and Democratic Republic of the Congo also saw high numbers.
According to the report, an average of 84 Canadian police officers were deployed abroad last year. No allegations were made against the average of 29 Canadian soldiers deployed on peacekeeping missions.