Study shows that many who experience the trauma of war become increasingly religious Divinity School graduate finds his community in ministry Following conflict, a turn to the divine Related It wasn’t what LaQuisha Anthony was hoping for, but it turned out to be what she needed.Five years ago Anthony founded V.O.I.C.E. (Victory Over Inconceivable Cowardly Experiences), a support network for sexual abuse survivors in her native Philadelphia. The nonprofit focuses on helping women of color and removing the stigma around sexual violence.Earlier this year, she signed up for “Making Change,” a summer executive course at Harvard Divinity School (HDS), expecting to pick up some new skills and tools to become a more effective leader. She found much more than that. Anthony left with a good dose of inspiration and the new goal of becoming a broader force for good in the world.“It was like a pilgrimage for me,” said Anthony. “It touched me deeply. It reaffirmed the idea that change is possible, and gave me a new approach, which is that I need to engage all people, all cultures, and all religions in order for us to see a collective change in our society and our world.”Anthony was one of 19 participants in the intensive, four-day class designed to offer a different type of value from those offering management skills or best business practices.Divinity School faculty ran the program like a personal-development retreat mixed with a graduate seminar on ethical issues such as racism, inequality, migration, conflict, and peace.Besides attending lectures, students took part in small-group conversations, where they engaged in self-reflection exercises on how to become agents of change. Because the School teaches theology and religious studies, there was the option to partake in religious practices, such as Buddhist meditation, Jewish Torah study, and contemplative Christian prayer.“Often people come to these courses thinking that they’re going to be making a five-year plan with bullet points and know what to do when they go home,” said Stephanie Paulsell, Susan Shallcross Swartz Professor of the Practice of Christian Studies and faculty chair for executive education. “We’re trying to offer a richer, deeper experience that involves thinking about the relationship between personal transformation and transformation in the world around us.”Now in its second year, the course attracted ministers, businesspeople, lawyers, artists, and nonprofit founders and administrators.,“We’re here because we’re all seeking change,” said Vincenzo Pascale, a journalist and a representative of Migrantes, an NGO affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church at the United Nations. “The program validated my work and the exercises helped me bring forward some ideas I’ve been contemplating on how to increase our organization’s leverage.”For Elizabeth Rovere, M.T.S. ’95, a New York City-based clinical psychologist who took part in last year’s pilot, the course helped build a sense of community among the participants, who came together to learn from each other despite their differences.“It was a meaning-making ‘inspiration tank,’” said Rovere by email. “It was like going back to school for an executive immersion to have your eyes wide open in a different way. It was deeply thoughtful and spiritual, anchored in history, theology, and ancient wisdom.”The course put an emphasis on history. Students learned about the history of Mexico and of race there and in the Caribbean; the role of religion in national and regional conflicts; the saga of peace-building efforts in Ireland; and the evolution of the Civil Rights and migrant farmworker movements. For many participants, the focus on U.S. history, especially around race and borders, was revelatory. It led to conversations that are necessary for healing, Paulsell said.“People are hungry for these kinds of conversations,” she said. “The program gives people a chance to have these conversations that everybody wants to have but are scared to have. We all learned that we need to become familiar with our history and confront that history together if we’re going to make any kind of change.”A session about white supremacist Dylann Roof’s murder of nine African-American churchgoers in Charleston, S.C., in 2015 made an impact on the audience. Assistant Professor of African American Religions Todne Thomas spoke about the history of the black church and its role as a center of black social life.“What was Dylann Roof trying to kill?” Thomas asked. “We know that Dylann Roof killed five praying black congregants, right? But the question is bigger than that. What was Dylann Roof trying to kill? … Why has the black church been a sustained target of violence in the United States?”Anthony was so touched by Thomas’ lecture that she wrote a poem encapsulating the lessons she learned during the course, from sharing her hardships as an African American woman to helping people become more aware of their privilege to realizing the power of working together. “I see us at home,” she wrote, “home in a sacred place.”“We have to come out of our own silos,” said Anthony. “If we want to create change in our country, we have to understand our shared history and be able to accept where we fall in the narrative, even if it’s uncomfortable.” Chicken soup for the soul
Albert Laguna, professor of American studies and ethnicity, race and migration at Yale University, spoke in Nieuwland Hall Thursday as part of the Office of Multicultural Student Programs and Services’ Martin Luther King, Jr. Series for the Study of Race.Laguna’s talk, “The Politics of Play in Latino America” focused on the politics behind Latino, specifically Cuban-exile, humor. Laguna said humor is a special aspect of Latin American culture, which makes studying the culture all the more engaging.“Academic and journalistic discourse surrounding race is rarely funny,” Laguna said. “Yet on a quotidian level, playful ways of representing culture or race is everywhere, for better or for worse.” EMMET FARNAN | The Observer Laguna said the topic of Latin American and Cuban humor was one that must balance popular culture and academia.“The interest in my class from a number of majors across the university taught me that students are looking for tools to make sense of race in forms of play,” he said. “My goal is to provide a balance between these two poles, to delight and instruct, and help you appreciate the complexity and critical potential to thinking about race and play simultaneously.”Laguna said what made Latin American humor so compelling to him was that, despite its being a huge part of Latin-American life and culture, the subject was greatly understudied.“The inspiration … came from growing up in Union City, New Jersey … over 80 percent Latino, situated over the Hudson River,” Laguna said. “I clearly remember the important role and highly visible role of humor in narrating everyday, quotidian life … [so] I was galled by the lack of scholarship of humor in Latino studies.”Laguna said his interest in Latino, specifically Cuban-American, humor also comes from its riveting, tumultuous history. He spoke about particular publications that used humor to make political statements.“Cubans have brought their particular brand of humor to the U.S. and used it to make sense of dying, sport, life and life in Cuba since the 19th century,” Laguna said. “[Here] is a satirical newspaper published in 1897, ‘Cacarajícara,’ printed in New York by Cuban exiles who opposed the Spanish Government … It was basically like ‘The Onion’ of its time.“Little later on you have this … tabloid newspaper called ‘Zigzag’ … from 1963. This was another version of ‘The Onion,’ popular up to 1969, until they decided to make drawings. Fidel Castro, he did not like that and asked nicely — or not so nicely — for them to shut down and many cartoonists fled into exile.”Laguna said Latino humor took on new forms in the 1970s when visual mediums also began to incorporate the style of comedy and satire.“And then you have ‘¿Qué Pasa, USA?’ This is the first bilingual sitcom in the history of the United States,” Laguna said. “It tracks three generations of the Peña family on their first year in exile.”Peña said Latino and Cuban humor add a unique perspective to the history of Cubans and Cuban-Americans.“[Latino humor] has a long history, and it tells an interesting story, one that bucks the usual narrative of the Cuban-exile community and right-wing politics.”Tags: Cuba, humor, Latino politics, Martin Luther King Jr.
Carolyn Woo, the former chief executive officer of Catholic Relief Services, will address the Saint Mary’s class of 2018 at its Commencement ceremony on May 19, according to a College press release. Woo will be awarded the College’s highest honor, an Honorary Doctor of Humanities, at the ceremony, according to the release. Woo immigrated to the United States for her studies after being born and raised in Hong Kong. She returned to her alma mater, Purdue University, as an associate professor in 1981 and as a full-time professor in 1991. According to the release, she served in several leadership roles at Purdue, as both the director of professional master’s programs in the Krannert School of Management and associate executive vice president for academic affairs. In 1997, Woo took on the role of Martin J. Gillen Dean of the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, which she held until 2011. In 2012, she began her time as the chief executive officer of Catholic Relief Services, where she served until 2016, according to the release. “Carolyn Woo embodies the spirit we strive to instill in our students: She is a woman of action,” College President Jan Cervelli said in the release. “Her career is a testament to the power of leadership that serves the greater good.”The College will also award an additional honorary degree to Sister Margaret “Peggy” O’Neill, according to the release.O’Neill has spent her life advocating for peace, according to the release. In her time working in the Diocese of San Salvador, she has promoted peace through her work with Salvadoran refugees during the civil war and creating an educational and cultural center in El Salvador that emphasized the importance of art and spiritual reflection. According to the release, she currently serves as a faculty member of Santa Clara University’s Casa de la Solidaridad in El Salvador. O’Neill had also spent over 25 years working as a theology professor in the past. O’Neill has received several honors for her work, including the 2008 Peacemaker Award of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace and the 2008 Ciudadana Ilustre Award, according to the press release. “Sister Peggy O’Neill enriches the lives of those around her with her buoyant spirit and unflagging commitment to service,” Cervelli said in the release. “Her accompaniment of people in need serves as a shining light through darkness.”Tags: Carolyn Woo, catholic relief services, Commencement 2018, Honorary degrees, Margaret O’Neill, Saint Mary’s Commencement
Other security forces have registered important victories against organized crime in recent months. For example, in January 2014, Colombina National Police (PNC) agents captured Gustavo Velasquez Rodríguez,, who is known as “The Lord of War” and “Strong Hand.” The of Lord War is suspected of being the principal arms dealer for Los Urabenos, authorities said. PNC agents captured The Lord of War on January 18, 2014, in Medellín. Authorities have charged him with murder, organized crime activity, and firearms offenses. In addition to selling firearms to Los Urabenos, The Lord of War is suspected of having provided illegal weapons to Víctor Ramón Navarro, a drug trafficker linked to the Popular Liberation Army (EPL), according to a PNC statement. Navarro is also known as “Megateo”. The meeting in Quito took place four months after the annual Police Community of the Americas (Ameripol) summit was held in Costa Rica. The VI Ameripol Summit took place in November, 2013. Officials who attended that meeting discussed how to improve international cooperation and coordination in the fight against organized crime. The event was attended by members of the police forces of Ecuador, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, the Dominican Republic and Uruguay, among others. Rodolfo Palomino, the director of Colombia’s National Police, and Costa Rican Public Security Minister Mario Zamora were among the security officials who spoke at that conference. “We are faced with a transformation in criminal behavior. We are no longer up against the big cartels, the groups have become smaller. The situation is evolving and it poses us some new challenges, the criminals respect neither laws nor borders,” Palomino said. Protecting human rights High-ranking officials and representatives of the police forces of Ecuador, Chile, Peru, Brazil and Colombia met recently in Quito, Ecuador, to exchange ideas on the best ways to fight crime while protecting human rights. The seminar, “The role of the police and the impact of transversalization of Ecuadorian Human Rights (HR) on Latin American Police Forces” took place March 10-12. About 50 officials attended the seminar, national and regional directors of police forces. It was the fourth time the seminar has been held. Officials discussed the best ways to train police officers to fight crime while protecting human rights. They also discussed the challenges police forces face throughout the region. Police departments throughout Latin America are fighting local gangs, such as Mara Salvatrucha, which is also known as MS-13. In Colombia, security forces are battling the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC), Los Rastrojos, and Los Urabenos. Mexican drug trafficking groups, including the Sinaloa Cartel and Los Zetas, operate in several Latin American regions. In addition to drug trafficking, these groups engage in other criminal enterprises, such as human trafficking, extortion, kidnapping, and oil theft. Colombian police capture Los Urabeños arms dealer The seminar shows that police forces in the region are dedicated to learning the best training methods for protecting human rights while fighting crime, said Héctor Chávez Villao, a security analyst at Guayaquil University. “The fact that regional police authorities meet in order to coordinate good police practices for law enforcement in their countries is a demonstration of the level of professionalism that these institutions have attained,” Chávez Villao said. “Coordination and cooperation are the best tactics for combatting crime in the region and it is very important to respect the limits of the law while doing so.” Addressing the participants, Ecuador’s national director of police training, District General Juan Carlos Rueda, called for “a commitment to values at the highest level in order to promote civil rights and liberties in a society where peaceful coexistence is the norm.” “Our goal is to implement corporate leadership strategies in the protection of public safety and to encourage respect for human rights and the appropriate use of force in the carrying out of operations,” Rueda said. The seminar was also attended by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the National Education and Police Directorates of Ecuador. Common challenges Ameripol Summit By Dialogo March 19, 2014 In February, 2014, in an effort to halt illegal gold trafficking from Peru to other countries, local authorities sent special teams of police and internal revenue agents to Lima, Arequipa, Cusco, Juliaca and Madre de Dios airports. Towards the end of January, 2014, members of the Peruvian National Police aided by two helicopters and 18 internal revenue agents expelled more than a thousand workers from an illegal mining operation in the Tambopata area. The security forces destroyed heavy equipment being used for exploration by the illegal miners. Law enforcement agents remain in the area to prevent the miners return. Authorities have identified the Cártel de Sinaloa, Los Urabeños and Los Rastrojos as the principal organized crime groups operating illegal mines. These groups have also been accused of recruiting children for mining work and, in many cases, prostitution. Regional police authorities combat organized crime through cooperation and training. For example, Ecuador recently inaugurated a crime laboratory in Quito which will give investigators access to the latest technologies to help them solve crimes. The new laboratory was officially opened on Jan. 8, 2014. The lab gives police the ability to quickly check fingerprint, obtain DNA results, and carry out toxicological tests on homicide victims to determine whether they consumed drugs before they were killed. The new laboratory also boasts automated systems for rapid identification of voices, a firearms examination system which allows investigators to match bullets to specific weapons, and state-of-the-art cameras which allow police to take high-quality photos of crime scenes. “With this new laboratory, investigations will evolve from traditional focus to scientific and technical methods where evidence can be processed and the respective chains of custody of evidence can be maintained”, said José Vizueta, a professor of criminal law at the Catholic University of Santiago de Guayaquil. Ecuadorean security forces have made important strides fighiting crime in recent years. For example, the rate of killings nationwide decreased by 27 percent between 2008 and 2012, according to figures from the National Police of Ecuador. There were 2,683 killings in Ecuador in 2008, and 1,884 killings in 2012. That was the lowest number of killings in the Andean country since 2000. Peruvian police combat illegal mining and child exploitation
By Maria Carolina González G. / Diálogo March 05, 2020 The United States-Colombia Action Plan is one of the farthest-reaching programs the United States promotes, with the support of Colombia.The United States-Colombia Action Plan (USCAP) for Regional Security is a cooperation agreement Colombia and the United States signed during former U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to the April 2012 Summit of the Americas, in Cartagena, Colombia. President Obama and then Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos agreed to work together to provide assistance to partner nations and strengthen the fight against the global drug problem and transnational crime. The plan included strengthening military and police capabilities through exchanging and fostering experiences, techniques, tactics, and procedures that would enable all countries to confront the insecurity that threatens regional stability.In 2013, following the USCAP’s creation, an agreement was reached to provide cooperation to Panama, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. In 2014, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic were added. To date, Colombia has trained over 4,000 members of the public and armed forces of member countries; they project this figure will increase in the next few years with the inclusion of more partner nations.Colombia, a regional exampleFor Colombia, training and supporting the work of strengthening the security and legitimacy of other hemispheric countries is positive. The country is not only considered the United States’ main regional ally, but it also has the opportunity to export the knowledge and skills its armed forces have acquired over decades of training and capacity building.For Colombia’s Military Forces, it is vitally important to support the fight against transnational threats by transferring knowledge to participating USCAP partner nations. “The differential capabilities the Colombian Military Forces have acquired over more than 50 years of uninterrupted fighting against terrorism and narcotrafficking allow us to share this experience; we strengthen our bonds of cooperation and mutual trust under the concept of cooperative security. At the same time we help USCAP beneficiary countries reach interoperability levels in the fight against emerging threats,” said Colonel Juan Carlos Mazo, director of the Office of International Relations for the Colombian Military Forces’ General Command.Participants of the Senior Leader Seminar in Medellín, Colombia. (Photo: SOUTHCOM J5)It’s important to highlight the considerable effort the United States made over the last few decades to increase regional stability; as a result, Colombia represents the most successful case study for this purpose. “The professionalism and capabilities of the Colombian Military Forces earn not only the respect of Colombian people, but also the respect and admiration of other regional partner nations. The United States knows that supporting Colombia in exporting its experience logically represents the next step in sharing our joint objective of providing increased regional stability,” said Kevin Staley, chief of the U.S. Southern Command’s (SOUTHCOM) Security Cooperation Division, which oversees the USCAP.According to Staley, SOUTHCOM will bring other partner nations into the program. “We want Colombia and the United States to mature this export effort to synchronize security efforts in the Americas. In addition, we are coordinating with Colombia’s Ministry of Defense to modify the program’s approach to one that’s more strategic than operational. Even though we will continue to provide training at the tactical level, we want to provide a balance among the three levels to satisfy the needs of USCAP countries.”Operational impactDuring the USCAP’s last planning conference, in December 2018 in Guatemala City, Guatemala, Honduran Army Lieutenant Colonel César Rodríguez said, “The training Colombia has provided under the USCAP contributes to increasing the seizures of cocaine shipments headed to the United States that use Honduras as a transit route.”Between 2013, when training began, and 2018, Honduran Armed Forces seized 33 tons of narcotics, equivalent to almost $600 million. This figure, added to the other participating countries’ results, shows that joint and coordinated efforts contribute to the operational success every nation seeks, after they receive training such as that the USCAP offers.USCAP towards the futureThe medium- and long-term purpose of the USCAP is to continue providing training at the three levels – strategic, operational, and tactical – for member countries, as well as to strengthen the train-the-trainer methodology, which allows the knowledge acquired to multiply through the generation of new training capabilities. The expectation is that nations facing security threats similar to those of current members will be able to join the plan in the coming years.
Theater law is in the books August 15, 2004 Regular News Theater law is in the books Something a little different may soon arrive at a law school near you — theater law.While law students traditionally have studied contracts, criminal law, and constitutional law, Nova Southeastern University’s law Professor Robert M. Jarvis felt it was high time they learned about theater law. He co-wrote what us believed to be the first law school textbook on the subject, titled “Theater Law: Cases and Materials,” a 500-page book being published this summer by Carolina Academic Press, Durham, North Carolina (www.cap-press.com).Among other subjects, the book includes chapters on playwrights, producers, directors, performers, and crew members. It also features sample theater contracts so that students can better understand how the industry works. In addition to Jarvis, 11 other law school professors from California, Florida, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C., helped write the book.“Theater law is a wonderful subject for law students to sink their teeth into,” Jarvis said. “It’s got great stories, lots of passion, colorful characters, and a little bit of everything — from history to economics to law.”Jarvis used the book to teach theater law this summer at NSU’s Shepard Broad Law Center where he has been a law professor since 1987. The idea for the book came to him in 2001, when he realized that entertainment law textbooks were focusing on movies and television and leaving out the stage.
On March 26, 2020, the five primary federal financial regulators issued a joint statement encouraging banks, savings associations and credit unions to offer responsible small-dollar loans to consumers and small businesses in response to COVID-19. The statement from the Federal Reserve, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) recognizes that responsible small-dollar loans can play an important role in meeting consumers’ credit needs because of temporary cash-flow imbalances, unexpected expenses, or income disruptions during periods of economic stress or disaster recoveries.In response to the coronavirus crisis, Velocity Solutions is extending a special offer to credit unions to allow you to serve your members and small businesses who need liquidity during this time of financial unrest. Velocity Solutions will implement CashPlease®, our small-dollar consumer loan platform or Akouba™, our small business loan platform on an expedited basis and will provide a one-time discount and special terms to make it easier and lower-risk for credit unions that would like to try either program.Your members and community small businesses need your support now more than ever during this unprecedented crisis. To learn more about Velocity’s CashPlease® and Akouba™ solutions and to take advantage of this special offer, please visit: https://myvelocity.com/covid19 3SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
Editor’s note: This is the first of a two-part Special Report on bird flu in Vietnam. Part two, “When avian flu control meets cultural resistance,” appeared Oct 26.Oct 25, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – HANOI, Vietnam – Among countries affected by avian influenza H5N1, Vietnam stands out twice over.It was one of the first hit by the virus in the current outbreak: It discovered its first human infections in December 2003 and its first widespread poultry outbreaks in January 2004. And it was one of the hardest hit, with 66 million birds culled to prevent spread of the virus, and more human infections than any other country to date.But it has also controlled the virus more successfully than any other country where the disease became endemic, with no new human cases since last November and only a handful of infected birds this year—12 farm chickens and ducks, and a small flock of tame storks in an amusement park.The shift is so striking that international health authorities are asking whether Vietnam’s success can be replicated elsewhere. But reproducing its efforts faces an unusual hurdle: sorting out which of its aggressive interventions actually made a difference.”The absence of human cases is a direct reflection of the lack of cases on the animal side,” said Dr. Richard Brown, a World Health Organization epidemiologist based in Hanoi. “But it is actually difficult to know exactly what that is due to, because there were a number of different interventions applied in the latter half of 2005 on the animal health side.”After responding to its 2004 outbreaks mainly by culling infected flocks, Vietnam in 2005 became the first country to institute mandatory nationwide poultry vaccination.In addition—and almost simultaneously—the national government banned poultry rearing and live-market sales in urban areas; restricted commercial raising of ducks and quail, which can harbor the virus asymptomatically; imposed strict controls on poultry transport within Vietnam and agreed to examine illegal cross-border trade; and launched an aggressive public education campaign that deployed radio and TV advertising, neighborhood loudspeaker announcements, and outreach by powerful internal groups such as the Women’s Union and Farmers’ Union.The country also compensated farmers for birds that had to be killed—initially at 10% of the birds’ market value, and now at 75%.”Who knows what impact any of these interventions had? This is a natural experiment” that lacks controls that could measure impact, said Dr. David Dennis, the Hanoi-based Vietnam influenza coordinator for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “How much [of the reduction in cases] is due to the natural history of this organism in birds? We don’t know.”Outside the country, experts presume the engine of flu control to be the pervasive influence of Vietnamese-style socialism, which extends from the national government through provinces, districts, and communes to individual “neighborhood committees.”Dr. David Nabarro, the United Nations’ senior coordinator for avian influenza, implicitly endorsed that view in a Sep 19 Financial Times story, when he contrasted Vietnam’s continued control of the virus with Thailand’s recent uptick in human cases during a time of political turmoil.”You don’t maintain control over this disease unless there is regular top-level direction from a senior committed political figure that wants to be sure the necessary activities are being undertaken,” Nabarro told the Financial Times.But within Vietnam, workers in avian-flu control say the country’s success depends as much on the population’s support as it does on political coercion—a factor that may bode well for the national government’s plans to change the country’s entire culture of poultry rearing, distribution, purchase, and sale. (See tomorrow’s follow-up story for more details.)”What makes the system work is not that it is top-down, but that it achieves consensus at every level,” said Don Douglas, chief of party for Mekong Region avian flu efforts at Abt Associates, a US consulting firm that in July was awarded a 3-year contract for avian flu assistance in north Vietnam. “Imagine the stigma associated with being the farm that lets everyone down and causes all its neighbors’ chickens to be culled.”At the village level, flu education efforts are already struggling against selective amnesia.”Some farmers may not understand that they cannot eat duck blood, because they see that the duck looks healthy,” said Nguyen Van Mai, a trainer with the humanitarian organization CARE International, an Abt Associates partner. “Some think that [avian flu] has stopped already, and do not believe that it is coming back.” (Photo at right* shows the village hall in Lien Ap village, Viet Doan commune, north Vietnam, at the start of an avian flu educational event hosted by CARE International.)The farmers’ confidence is not shared by health authorities apprehensive over the approach of winter—Vietnam’s regular flu season, and also the time of year when avian flu cases have spiked.”I think Vietnam . . . has to prepare to deal with the comeback of this epidemic,” said Dr. Le Truong Giang, vice-director of the health department in Ho Chi Minh City, which is Vietnam’s largest municipality and has enacted the strictest local flu controls.Asked whether the city could keep the virus at bay indefinitely, Dr. Giang paused. “We try to do that,” he said. “But we are not sure.”*Photo ©2006 Maryn McKenna. Used with permission.Reporting for this story was supported by the East-West Center, Honolulu (www.eastwestcenter.org).
Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.
Share Share Sharing is caring! NewsRegional UN opens probe into alleged child sexual exploitation in Haiti by: – January 24, 2012 9 Views no discussions Share Tweet Map of Haiti. Photo credit: merriam-webster.comNEW YORK, USA — The United Nations announced on Monday that it is investigating two cases of sexual exploitation of children allegedly committed by its police personnel in Haiti.The first case involves UN Police (UNPOL) officers based in the capital, Port-au-Prince, while the second case involves one or more members of the Formed Police Unit (FPU) in Gonaives, UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky told reporters in New York. “The United Nations is outraged by these allegations and takes its responsibility to deal with them extremely seriously,” stated Nesirky. He added that the police contributing countries concerned have been informed. However, unlike cases involving UN military personnel, investigations into allegations involving UN police personnel fall under the responsibility of the UN. For this reason, a UN team was dispatched to Haiti on Saturday to investigate the allegations. The UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) stated in a news release that an investigation was immediately opened after the allegations were made. In addition, the UN Police Commissioner relieved the two suspects of their duties as a precaution to prevent them from having any contact with the population and to prevent any attempts to interfere with the investigation.“I want to reiterate my commitment to uphold the policy of zero tolerance of abuse by the staff of the Mission” said Mariano Fernández, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of MINUSTAH. “Each member of the UN personnel, whether he or she is a civilian, member of the military or police, must observe a standard of exemplary conduct. This is a commitment that is required when joining the United Nations, anywhere in the world. We will continue to take the strictest measures to ensure, where appropriate, that the perpetrators of such acts are punished with the utmost severity,” he added.The UN has a strategy in place to assist victims of exploitation and sexual abuse. In Haiti, MINUSTAH implements it in coordination with other UN agencies and national stakeholders. This mechanism is meant to guarantee that the victims receive medical and psychological support as fast as possible.Caribbean News Now