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Africa UN Peacekeepers

Source: Anadolu Agency / Getty

Earlier this month, a United Nations report revealed that French soldiers were forcing young boys in the Central African Republic to perform sexual acts on them in return for money.

Nearly two weeks later, the alleged abuses carried out by soldiers deployed as “peacekeepers” is taking a disturbing turn. As Vox.com points out, child rape in Africa is continually dubbed the “sex-food-scandal” in the media.

Truth is, the harrowing experiences are just that — child rape.

From CNN:

Paula Donovan, co-director of AIDS-Free World, told CNN the report detailed testimonies from six children interviewed last year by staff from the U.N. children’s agency UNICEF and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The children gave harrowing accounts of their own experiences and abuses they had witnessed, and they recounted the experiences of friends of theirs, she said. “There are a few cases where a boy describes the sodomizing of a friend by soldiers who are threatening to beat him if he tells anyone about what they are doing,” Donovan said.

The abuses were allegedly committed against a dozen children at a displaced persons’ camp at M’Poko International Airport in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, between December 2013 and June 2014.

The question: Why didn’t the media call it what it is?

Vox‘s Amanda Taub points out the damage incorrect labeling can do and why we should be frank about what’s happening in Africa currently:

The idea seems to be that when peacekeepers rape children who are desperate for food, for some reason it does not actually count as rape, but rather is an exchange of food for sex. Worse, the wording suggests that by dispensing food to their victims, the rapists were merely causing a “scandal,” not committing a crime. And this isn’t the first time this has happened. Cronin-Furman rounds up other examples of peacekeepers sexually abusing children that were also covered as “sex-for-food” stories in 200220042006, and 2011.

This needs to stop. When child rape occurs, the media should call it what it is. Describing such incidents as “sex for food” minimizes the gravity of the crimes, by implying that the soldiers were compensating locals for transactional sex, rather than acknowledging what they were truly doing to vulnerable children. It’s not “sex.” It’s rape.

We agree. Whether the media means to or not, dismissing child rape is absolving the peacekeepers of bad behavior…and endangering our children further.

Do you agree? Sound off below…

SOURCE: CNN, VOX | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty

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The “Sex-For-Food” Scandal Is Not A Thing…But Child Rape In Africa Is was originally published on newsone.com

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