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It has to be reinforced all the time," added a senior police official. It is not allowed. We do not even take condoms that the UN gives us because we will not have sex with Haitian women. They will sell their bodies for money. A Haitian man told us, "The restaurants that attract you international people feed the prostitution business. The Haitian National Police will do nothing about this. They are even involved! According to Haitian women's groups, women are even cheaper in the poorer areas of Petionville.
In , we had a lot of problems with the Multinational Forces. The [peacekeepers] bring their bad habits with them to Haiti, but they do not bring change," complained a representative of a Haitian woman's group. One part of the UN's strategy for addressing it involves prevention through training, implementing the code of conduct, and raising awareness. Other UN missions have reacted to the abuses by peacekeepers in the Congo by appointing a Code of Conduct officer who will head a unit to oversee and develop a strategy in relation to behavior and conduct.
But I just don't have the staff to be able to do all of this as well as I would like. Sexual exploitation is not strictly a gender issue but is a disciplinary offense akin to drunk driving or stealing. While the Gender Advisor is well suited to advocate for gender issues, her advocacy can be undermined by her dual role as "watchdog" on sexual exploitation.
Further, according to a recent study, "For some [peacekeepers], gender is an emotionally loaded term closely allied, perhaps, to the terms 'feminist' or 'feminism'. Use of the word evoked a defensive stance from [UN peacekeepers].
The UN also plans to punish perpetrators, with the most severe sanctions being repatriation to the home country. While it is inappropriate to discuss punishment before an investigation has determined guilt, MINUSTAH and the UN need to do a better job of communicating their policies to the local community. In a country that has had a tradition of unaccountable governments that do not respect human rights, the UN must actively demonstrate that it takes violations seriously.