“We found that most women never report their rapes and aren’t counted in that official tally,” says Femi. “Independent estimates suggest more than 500 women have been raped or exploited by UN personnel since 2005.”
Mario Joseph, an attorney at the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, is now representing nine women against MINUSTAH. Last summer, he sent legal notices to the UN, asking them to co-operate with the paternity claims the women are trying to file against the soldiers who fathered their children. “They never respond to us,” he says, adding that the UN has no mechanism to deal with situations like this. When pressed, a UN official told Fault Lines that there are less than a dozen children worldwide receiving child support from UN soldiers.