November 01, 2005

Former UN official convicted for sexual abuse in Kosovo

(Prishtina, DTT-NET.COM*)-A former official of UN mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) was sentenced on Monday to three years in prison for sexual abuse of a minor.

Pakistani national, Rashidoon Khan - a former official for United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in UN administrated province of Kosovo - was arrested in January. He was found guilty of abuse of a minor under the age of 16.

By the end of August three UN police officers and four foreigners have been arrested for involvement in human trafficking in the UN administered province of Kosovo, but were released by an international judge because of lack of evidence.

Since the UN begun ruling Kosovo after the war ended in June 1999 civilian international officials and soldiers of international NATO-led peacekeeping force (KFOR) have been involved in several cases of sexual abuse and human trafficking.

According to the Amnesty International (AI) the presence of international peacekeepers in Kosovo has been fuelling the sexual exploitation of women and encouraging trafficking. The human rights group claims that UN and NATO troops in the region are using the trafficked women and girls for sex, and that some have been involved in trafficking itself.

Girls as young as 11 from Eastern European countries are being sold into sex slavery, according to Amnesty International.

The [AI] report includes harrowing testimonies of abduction, deprivation, and torture, including beatings and rape.

The report also condemns the role of the international peacekeepers in furthering the problem, saying that the number of places in Kosovo where trafficked women and girls may be exploited, such as nightclubs, bars, restaurants, hotels, and cafes, has increased from 18 at the time of the arrival of the peacekeepers in 1999 to more than 200 in 2003.

According to the report, international personnel make up about 20 per cent of sex trafficking customers, though its members comprise only 2 per cent of Kosovo’s population.

* has ridiculous registration requirements so don't even bother with the link.

Posted by Kyer at November 1, 2005 08:22 PM | TrackBack